Movies Poetry Recording The Memory Palace

After viewing “Three Seasons,” A Film by Tony Bui (2001)

Three Seasons (Vietnamese title: Ba mùa) is a 1999 American film shot in Vietnam about the past, present, and future of Ho Chi Minh City in the early days of Doi Moi. It is a poetic film that tries to paint a picture of the urban culture undergoing westernization. The movie takes place in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. As the characters try to come to terms with the invasion of capitalism, neon signs, grand 5-star hotels, and Coca-Cola signs, their paths begin to merge.

The film, directed by Tony Bui, a Vietnamese-born American independent film director in the U.S., debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and became the first film to win both an Audience Award and a Grand Jury Prize. The film was based on Bui’s own experiences dealing with the changing landscape and people of his ancestral home of Vietnam.

Nellie recorded this reading of her poem, After viewing “Three Seasons,” A Film by Tony Bui, on April 21, 2023, after The Last Hoisan Poet & Del Sol Quartet’s tribute to artist Bernice Bing at the Asian Art Museum. The poem was published in the poetry anthology, OHANA, edited by Shirley Imura (2001).

Nellie reads her poem “After viewing “Three Seasons,” A Film by Tony Bui”

Lotus Goddess, 1986–1988. Watercolor and mixed media on paper. Gift of the Estate of Bernice Bing, F2020.25.5. Asian Art Museum.