at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

A Vietnamese Double Feature – Passerine Bird and Traveling Circus

Double feature Pass & Circus Vietnam image
Wednesday, May 6
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium

First Film: PASSERINE BIRD (Viet Nam, 1962, directed by Nguyen Van Thong, 45 minutes, Vietnamese with E.S.). The Vietnam Film Institute stumbled upon a deteriorating 16mm print of this lost classic which the Hong Kong Film Archive restored and the Center subtitled. The film offers a lyric view of village level resistance to French colonial aggression in Viet Nam in the 1950s. Nga, a young girl, is thrown into the bitter struggles of her fellow countrymen as images of innocent youth are bled away, turning into the steadfastness of nationalist resolve.

Second Film: Set in the central highlands of Viet Nam, TRAVELING CIRCUS (Viet Nam, 1988, directed by Viet Linh, 74 minutes, Vietnamese with E.S.) is a bittersweet story of famine-ridden villagers, tricked by an illusion of food into helping a circus that is secretly searching for gold in their region. Through the eyes of a young villager, we witness how their naive hope has tragic consequences. Banned for two years in Vietnam because officials considered its themes potentially subversive, director Viet Linh was required to change the title of the film from The Conjurer’s Tricks to There Was Once a Man Who Was Greedy for Gold to its final title. One of the most internationally acclaimed Vietnamese movies from the 1980s, it is rarely shown in Vietnam or abroad.

Please support the filmmaker by purchasing their film!


Traveling Circus –



Please support the filmmaker by purchasing their film!