Monday, April 02, 2007

Owl and the Sparrow

I just came from my third movie at the Asian American Showcase - "The Owl and the Sparrow." It was a wonderful story set in Saigon, and centers around a 10-year old girl named Thuy. It is very different from the only other Vietnamese movies I've seen - "Scent of the Green Papaya," "Vertical Ray of the Sun" and "Cyclo." Of course, those were all made by Anh Hung Tran, a Vietnamese director. Tonight's movie was directed by Stephane Gaugere, who was born in Saigon but grew up in Orange County. Gaugere's movie showed a grittier, less picturesque side of Vietnam. The beauty in the film was found within the people in the story. Thuy runs away from home and finds more kindness, generosity, and affection while living on the streets of Saigon then she ever did when she lived with her uncle. The plot may not be realistic. (How often do complete strangers take in street urchins?) However, I was moved by the strength and courage that Thuy exhibits. She is able to break away from her unhappy life, listen to the advice that is given to her, see the goodness in others, and ultimately find people who care about her and believe in her. Isn't that what we all want?