Tells the bittersweet story of a small traveling circus from Hanoi stopping in an impoverished ethnic minority village in Vietnam’s central highlands. Through the eyes of a village youngster, we witness the magic of the circus, and the naïve hope that illusion can be transformed into reality.
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Vietnamese movies are bleak, bleak, bleak: here capitalist exploiters (in the form of a funny carnival act!) descend like Death on grindingly poor starvation village in the mountains, setting the villagers to forage for gold in the hills - leaving the pitiful fields neglected - in return for free amusement, the centerpiece of which is conjuring rice in an empty basket onstage. Very well done, but man is it dark.