A young woman is caught in a lie by her suspicious mom. With tensions already high from recently losing a loved one, their relationship unhinges.
A selection of Short of the Week, the web’s leading curators of quality short films.
ZOE AND HAHN
Written and Directed by Kim Tran
“Girls, boys, and mothers. A triangle of tension since…forever. From this classic setup, writer/director/lead actor Kim Tran has crafted a fresh and pleasurable addition to the genre of mother/daughter generational and cultural conflict. With honest writing, a tone that deftly alternates sincere emotionality and uproarious comedy, as well as compelling performances, this short film selected to SXSW 2020 is a touching 9 min story that provides a fun technological and cultural wrinkle to a familiar premise.
In the film, Zoe has to lie to her conservative mother in order to spend time with her boyfriend while she is visiting home. The plan seems airtight, except that she forgets to turn the geotracking of her phone off, which leads to an explosive confrontation that ultimately both women might need.
While watching the film, I was struck first by the writing—how real and genuine it felt. Every single interaction, each line, feels natural. There is no unnecessary exposition, the intimacy between Zoe and her boyfriend is instantly established and Tran does not shy away from portraying a couple in an (pardon the use of the word these days) unsanitized way. This level of authenticity is rarely seen on-screen unless used as a joke I feel. Tran wanted to explore the complexities of a mother/daughter relationship when death, sex and growing up enter the mix, and, as a catalyst, she chose an approach that has ramifications later in life—the fact that most Asian Americans or daughters of immigrants never get the “sex talk” from their parents. When the tension rises with the mother and truths are exposed, despite the frantic energy, the dialogue remains real, and nothing feels overdramatized.” – S/W Curator, Céline Roustan
Cast & Crew:
“Zoe” – Kim Tran
“Hanh” – Nguyen Stanton
“Andy” – Frank Sanchez
Director of Photography – Mariana Gonzalez
Editor – Michael Juarez
Sound Recordist – Matthew Kluchin
Production Designer – A Wortz
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers.