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[Video] A Longing for Saigon as if Missing a Life Companion in Short Film 'Sài Gòn'

As expressed by the classic Basho haiku, "Even in Kyoto / hearing the cuckoo call / I long for Kyoto," it's possible to miss a place even when there. Saigon is no exception.

Ta Nguyen Hiep explains in Vietnamese that he sometimes imagines being far from Saigon and calling to it the way one calls to a friend. He then goes and shoots street scenes. His short film Sai Gon… Sai Gon…! therefore captures a longing for the city it was made in.

Children bathe and play in flooded hẻms, a street seller scoops coconut flesh, cyclo drivers peddle undeterred by a downpour and a ferry slips into port as the sun starts to set: the series of scenes focuses on citizen's quotidian activities. A melancholy song by Deejoke plays while a woman prepares a multi-colored cup of chè; people gather at a temple to lift incense and bow heads; and, a man assumes the classic balanced-on-a-motorbike pose smoking a cigarette. The familiar images will make you miss Saigon even if its traffic is blaring outside your window.

Watch it here:

Video via Ta Nguyen Hiep's Vimeo page.


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