Cinema: Three Seasons Directed by Tony Bui

Directed by Tony Bui

Snapshot parables from today's Saigon: a young woman (Nguyen Ngoc Hiep) befriends a leprous poet; a pedicab driver idolizes a bitter whore; an American visitor (Harvey Keitel), who sired a child back in the war days, returns to search for his daughter. Writer-director Bui, who left Vietnam when he was two, returns to graft these daintily sentimental tales onto rapturous vistas, photogenic faces and a long history of colonial hurt. Alas, Three Seasons, a Sundance prizewinner, shows little more than Bui's fondness for visual and narrative cliches. A better director will have to make the definitive "post-Vietnam" Vietnam film.

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