Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Director Tony Bui is expected to be in attendance for a post-film Q&A.
We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of this landmark Asian American film. It has a significant place in history for being the first foreign film to depict Vietnam outside of the Vietnam War.
Three Seasons (Ba Mùa) is an American Vietnamese-language film shot in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) during the early days of Đổi Mới. The residents of Ho Chi Minh City face rapid westernization and widespread poverty. Retired Marine James Hager (Harvey Keitel) arrives in search of his daughter, whom he abandoned at the end of the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, inner-city cyclo driver Hai (Don Duong) falls for troubled prostitute Lan (Zoe Bui) and schemes to raise money in order to spend time with her. Elsewhere, Kien An (Nguyen Ngoc Hiep) begins harvesting lotuses for a writer suffering from leprosy.
Three Seasons is a poetic film about an urban experiencing rapid change. As the characters try to come to terms with the invasion of capitalism, neon signs, grand five-star hotels, and Coca-Cola signs, their paths begin to merge.
Directed and filmed when Tony Bui was 24 years old, Three Seasons was the first American film to be made in Vietnam after President Bill Clinton lifted the embargo and the first in Sundance Film Festival history ever to receive both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award. It was Vietnam’s submission for the 72nd Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in 1999.