Never Forget, directed by Jon Bling, is a film that explores cultural and generational tensions through the eyes of a Vietnamese-Australian protagonist. Kim Tran (played by Ann Truong) is a young woman thriving in Melbourne, when a call from her brother in Vietnam throws her life into disarray. Kim learns her estranged father has died, and she must return home to say goodbye and spend time with the family she hasn’t seen in 10 years.
Leaving a marriage proposal from her boyfriend hanging in suspension, Kim heads home. When she arrives in Vietnam, we see Kim grapple with grief, confusion and guilt; as she has focused on establishing a life in Australia, she has purposefully distanced herself from her cultural roots. As Kim reacquaints herself with her home country and her family, another hurdle presents itself; a growing connection with a family friend, Bao.
The film has many strengths, including its casting and thoroughly bilingual script. Truong’s performance as Kim comes across as authentic as she embodies the struggles of the protagonist. The film is also visually beautiful, with Bling opting to use many close-up shots that allow us to truly experience the emotion of the film. Although elements of the plot probably could have been fleshed out more, Bling seems to leave much of the film open to the viewer’s interpretation, preferring to focus on the multi-dimensional characterisation of Kim.
Never Forget is an award-winning film that authentically portrays the issues a young Vietnamese-Australian girl faces when she returns home. Watch the trailer below:
Header image via Never Forget IMDB page.
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