Tran Anh Hung's latest film shows life as an endless string of births and deaths. It's a unique family chronicle that spans multiple generations, jumping between moods and characters without forming a clear narrative. It's really one of those films that you just have to see for yourself.
The film starts with Valentine and her marriage with Jules. From there on out, it's just an enumeration of children, marriages and deaths. There's virtually no dialogue, a voice-over gives us the necessary details and Hung serves us short scenes of all the key moments in this long lineage of people.
It sounds incredibly dull and for some people it will no doubt be, but it's certainly not as dry as it sounds. The cinematography is lush, the soundtrack soothing and Hung still has an eye for small gestures and expression that are more pronounced than any dialogue ever could be. It's really a very poetic, symphonic film, people wanting a more narrative experience should probably look elsewhere.