Director Jon Bling’s transnational film puts the spotlight on a young woman’s journey of the heart as she deals with intergenerational and intercultural gaps. When Kim, a young Vietnamese Australian woman, hears about her estranged father's death, she returns to Vietnam for the first time in 10 years to begin the process of reconciliation and healing. Caught between two worlds, Kim must decide what she wants to learn and take from her homeland. In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), she gets reacquainted with an old extended family friend, Bao, who gives her a local view of the city. As she explores the dynamics of the place she had left behind, the tension between wanting to forget the past and always remembering begins to fade. With its completely bilingual dialog, the film shows the language limitations of a Westernized generation and the emotional confusion that comes with navigating what it means to be Vietnamese in today’s hybridized world.
As she plays childhood card games and recalls old romantic love songs—Kim’s cold demeanor begins to melt and the audience sees the beginnings of joy for someone who is finally discovering who she is and what she wants. Yet will she stay in Vietnam with Bao or return to her other life with her white boyfriend in Australia who had just proposed marriage? Despite one’s lack of linguistic fluency, Never Forget reminds us that the language of love is always powerfully and clearly understood, no matter where you are.
Jon Bling / Australia / 2016 / 95 min
English and Vietnamese (with English subtitles)
***Preceding the film will be the following short(s):
Danh Minh Dao / Norway / 2015 / 30 min
A young, Vietnamese couple are expecting and in search for a better life in Norway. As undocumented immigrants, they end up relying on the wife’s relatives who get them involved in criminal activities.
Viewer discretion is advised: strong language and violence