Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
PAAFF CENTERPIECE NARRATIVE
Director Leon Le expected in attendance for post-film Q&A.
An epic romance that combines the historical drama of Kaige Chen’s Farewell My Concubine with the rich visual palette of Kar-Wai Wong’s Happy Together!
Set in 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer from a struggling Cai Luong troupe (traditional Vietnamese opera). The two meet when Dung comes to collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship—and then more—develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights.
With his first feature film, director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites—equally uncompromising—set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.