VIETTE begins like many an Asian American film. Viette, a young Vietnamese American woman, carries the stress of getting into college while hiding a white boyfriend from stifling immigrant parents who can’t resist scapegoating the Americans and those who love them. But then it goes somewhere that resembles no Asian American film before, stretching a decade tearfully, holding nothing back be it sexual or violent, and calling for a woman’s voice to make sense of life’s ironies.
By the film’s elegiac close, VIETTE is like no Asian American film because Mye Hoang is like no other Asian American filmmaker. It’s a textbook auteurist work – Hoang is the director, writer, producer, and lead actor – with an eye only on what seems to be painful truths: dark sides of fairy tales more compromised than enchanting.
Every frame in VIETTE screams its need to exist. It’s hard to talk about VIETTE as just a film, but a personal film, one which in many ways defies analysis the way a diary shrugs off critique by the force of its sheer existence. But to not speak of the film’s construction is to miss the careful ways in which Viette’s courageous resolve despite being a suffocated teen or conflicted adult comes out through sparkling cranes and Christmas lights, and especially through a haunting pop score that somehow freezes time like a prom slow dance and points waywardly toward freedom. –Brian Hu
Co-presented by: Break The Silence
Cast: Mye Hoang, Sean McBride, Joshua Bednarsky, Chi Pham, Yen Ly, Anh Vo
Writer: Mye Hoang