Tran's third feature, the polar opposite of Cyclo, has a very Asian concern with 'face' - with the importance of maintaining a facade to command respect, regardless of the realities behind it. In Hanoi, three sisters prepare the family ceremony to mark the anniversary of their mother's death. Two are married, apparently happily; the youngest lives in a near-incestuous relationship with their 'little brother', an aspiring actor. By the time the family reconvenes to mark the father's death, a month later, the film has explored the emotional secrets and scandals they keep from each other and the outside world. At the same time, the sisters have hushed up a discovery that their late mother had a secret lover. The film has the structure and rhythm of a recurring dream: languid, sensual, poised between motion and stasis. Prodigious images by Taiwanese DP Mark Lee burnish a flawless illusion of harmony.
Cast and crew