Owl and the Sparrow

August 1, 2008

Directed by Stephane Gauger

In this charming tale from modern-day Vietnam, three ordinary folks look for love. Amerasian writer-director Stephane Gauger has a keen eye for location-throughout the film, audiences see everyday scenes of city life in Vietnam, from outdoor noodle shops to vagabond kids hawking postcards. The film follows an orphaned girl, a lonely airline attendant and a zookeeper. While the film feels slow at times, it contains enough plot twist to keep the audience's interest. What's notable-and what makes the film beautiful-are the characters' nuanced expressions, which captivate from the first scene. Thuy (Pham Thi Man) steals the show as a 10-year-old matchmaker-heroine, combining sage wisdom with childhood innocence. The film seems to comment on what can be lost through rapid change. Mostly, though, it is about lonely, but good-hearted souls who seek love. Well-known Vietnamese American filmmakers Ham Tran (Journey from the Fall) and Timothy Linh Bui (Green Dragon) produced the movie. Gauger's cinematographic eye is amazing for a director's first feature-length drama. DVD extras include: deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and director commentary with actor Cat Ly, who plays the flight attendant. -Momo Chang

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Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.