It’s 1980s in Saigon. Linh Phung is a star of a traveling Cai-luong (traditional folk opera) troupe deep in debt to a local loan shark. Dung “thunderbolt” is the enforcer come to collect. Despite their initial misconceptions about each other, the two eventually bond over a video game and discover that they kindred spirits and have many things in common. Linh Phung learns how a lived life is necessary for art and Dung follows art back to a life worth living. The story, ingrained in fatalism and doom, is inspired by the classic narrative structure known from Vietnamese opera.
Born and raised in Saigon, Leon Le moved the US as a teenager, and is an established dancer/singer/actor. Song Lang, his first feature film, is already a very mature work and a proof of director’s personal experience with stage acting and visual sensibility, which he practiced for years as a professional photographer.