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Owl and the Sparrow (Cu va chim se se, Vietnam/USA 2007), the charming story of three lonely strangers who form a unique family amid the hustle and bustle of Saigon, directed by Stephane Gauger and produced by Timothy L. Bui, will open on SFFS Screen at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas on Friday, February 13, 2009.

The fruitful cinematic relationship that Vietnamese Americans have fostered with their motherland in recent years is ably continued with Stephane Gauger’s feature debut. While Owl and the Sparrow’s central narrative mirrors that of many a Hollywood love story—a young child strives to forge a romantic relationship between two lonely adults—the characters and their circumstances add up to much more: a thoughtful portrait of contemporary Vietnam. Thuy, a young orphan who lives with her demanding uncle, runs away from her rural home to the streets of Saigon, where she meets Lan, a flight attendant in a doomed affair with a married man, and Hai, a zoo employee who has little contact with anyone except for his beloved elephants. Thuy evades officers who round up derelict children for local orphanages and balances her time between her two new friends. Constantly scolded for “asking too many questions,” Thuy learns of Lan’s and Hai’s personal lives and sets out to unite them, despite their class differences. Gauger’s film, full of rich, compelling, compassionate characters, does not shy away from romantic sentiments. It is most remarkable, however, for its peek at the children who populate Saigon’s streets. Though supposedly alone, they form a network that thrives on mutual support and respect. —Jonathan L. Knapp, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Written and photographed by Stephane Gauger. With Cat Ly, Le The Lu, Pham Thi Han. 97 min. In Vietnamese with English subtitles. Distributed by Wave Releasing.

At the Sundance Kabuki all seats are reserved and an amenities fee is in effect for most shows. Tickets are available through the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas box office, at kiosks in the lobby and online at sundancecinemas.com/kabuki with print-at-home capability. San Francisco Film Society members receive discounted admission to SFFS Screen programs at the box office only (not online or at the lobby kiosks).

For more information visit www.sffs.org

Added by cinesoul on January 30, 2009

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