Three Seasons

Institute History


With a lingering drip of sweat, the early trickle of coming rain and the serendipity of a blooming lotus, the three seasons of Vietnam are set in motion: each unfolding to tell the intertwining stories of three destined individuals in post-war, modern day Saigon(Ho Chi Ming City).

The Dry Season is the harsh portrayal of a cyclo("rickshaw-like" three wheeled bicycle taxi) driver who falls in love with a high society call girl he rides home every night during the hot, dry months. She instead sees her pathway out of poverty in the foreign men she sleeps with and desires to be like them. Through his story we witness the lives of the underclass who live in the shadows of a growing city. Their existence is in the back alleys, behind the rising hotels and skyscrapers seen by them as "the other world".

The Wet Season follows the adventures of an eight-year old street urchin for one rainy night as he loses his wooden peddling case and wanders the city to find it. Without his case identity is lost, becoming invisible in his own streets. In his night of drifting, he inadvertently saves another street urchin, a six-year old orphaned girl who ends up following him for the remainder of the wet night. Although never exchanging a single word, a bond grows as they find simple comfort in each other's presence. They are Buoi Doi(children of dust) and the night world of Saigon, with its return of drug dealers, prostitutes, sleazy bars and crowded nightclubs, is revealed through their eyes.

The Growth Season is a lyrical tale of a lotus picker who comes to the city every morning to sell her white flowers. Although it has been a season of abundance, her simple livelihood is threatened by an emerging company that mass produces plastic lotuses which neither wilt nor die. Along, the way, she befriends the master of the plantation, an eccentric poet whose self-punishment keeps him hidden from the outside world. Told with poetic songs and songful poems, their friendship initiates from coincidence , but finalizes through fate. The story ultimately acts as a metaphor for those outcast by a disaffecting society.

With the subtly of changing seasons, the three stories interweave together into a single , cohesive narrative representation of a people trying to find their place within the changes of an industrializing society.


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