Back Arts & Culture » Film & TV » Shot in Saigon, 'Monsoon' Stars Henry Golding as a Gay British-Vietnamese

Shot in Saigon, 'Monsoon' Stars Henry Golding as a Gay British-Vietnamese

Monsoon centers on a gay Vietnam-born British man named Kit as he returns to his home country.

The film is directed by Cambodian-British filmmaker Hong Khaou, who spent his childhood living in Vietnam before moving to the United Kingdom. Monsoon is Khaou’s second feature film after his 2014 debut Lilting.

Henry Golding, who is famous for his role in Crazy Rich Asiansplays the main protagonist, Kit. After his mother’s death, he returns to Vietnam to find a meaningful place to scatter her ashes.

Distinctly Saigon shots serve as the background for Kit's journey.

According to Khaou, the film examines the feeling of dislocation central to Kit's experience in Saigon, capturing his journey of reconciling with a place that is so different from what he remembers as a six-year-old kid, and navigating this alienation.

“Vietnam is changing so quickly. It wants to be this exciting new capitalist country, and everything is possible there,” the director told Variety. “I wanted for Kit to have this sense that when he arrives in Vietnam it is this foreign place, and he has to slowly forge a relationship with it.”

A modern-day Saigon with notable contemporary landmarks.

During his time in Vietnam, Kit meets Lewis, played by Parker Sawyer, an African-American entrepreneur living in the city whose father fought in the American War. The two develop a romantic relationship. 

“I wanted to hide behind this Vietnamese character, so to speak, and talk about these feelings and issues I’ve always had about having to flee a war-torn country…and the struggle for a sense of cultural identity,” Khaou told Variety.

“The odd thing is, I’m not Vietnamese. I was born in Cambodia but I left when I was just a baby. I grew up in Vietnam and all my childhood memories are of Vietnam. In the early drafts, I was thinking, ‘should I make him Cambodian?’ Through writing and re-writing, he took on the shape of a British-Vietnamese man, even though I’m not,” Khaou told Glass Magazine.

Have a look at the trailer below:

[Photo via Variety]

Related Articles

in Film & TV

Indie Short Film 'Saigon Kiss' Is a Quintessential Saigon Queer Love Story

Is there a meet-cute more characteristically Saigon than a motorbike breakdown and subsequent friendly assist from a stranger?

in Film & TV

Award-Winning Film 'Rom' to Hit Theaters in Vietnam on July 31

After eight years in development and months of not knowing whether the movie would be allowed to be screened, the filmmakers behind Rom can now heave a sigh of relief.

in Film & TV

From Commercial Releases to Heartfelt Docs: A Brief History of Vietnam's Notable Queer Films

Personally honest, socially important and commercially sexy, modern movies about gay and transgender people are among the better works of contemporary Vietnamese cinema.

Thi Nguyễn

in Culture

How Vietnam's Pop Culture Leaves Behind Past Stigmas to Embrace Queerness

The recent rise of music videos and pop culture products that feature androgynous idols and same-sex love has invited mixed responses and debates in the media, which open a window into Vietnam’s histo...

in Film & TV

'Canh Dong Hoang' Cinematographer Duong Tuan Ba Passes Away at 93

Most famously known for his part in making the film Canh Dong Hoang (The Abandoned Field: Free Fire Zone) in 1979, cinematographer Duong Tuan Ba died of old age at 1:50pm on June 1, 2020, at the age o...

in Film & TV

'Tro Tàn Rực Rỡ' Wins Top Prize at Film Festival in France

Recently, Tro Tàn Rực Rỡ (Glorious Ashes), a Vietnamese film directed by Bùi Thạc Chuyên, was awarded the highest honor at the Nantes Festival of Three Continents.

Partner Content