Presented by From Ego to Soul LLC
Flora Le’s father never spoke about the war. Difficult and inaccessible, he’s a cypher to her until she hires a young man to sit with him in hospital as he dies; to this stranger he reveals his past: a long-abandoned love, left in Vietnam just as the war was breaking out. Realizing this void—his personal history—is tied to some awful emptiness within, she sets out to find herself by discovering him.
In Sadec 1965: A Love Story, Le tells the true story of her six-week motorcycle trip to her father’s hometown of Sadec in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
A compelling storyteller with a gentle and steady delivery, she oscillates between timelines—her motorcycle adventure, her life leading up to it—gradually pulling together the threads as she unravels them in tandem.
She relates the formative experiences of her life vividly and with ease, the details carefully chosen and conveyed. With naturalistic gestures that feel both off-hand and deeply purposeful, the draws us in. She’s so unassuming, it feels particularly striking when she lands a poignant, devastating or frightening revelation.
One of the most moving moments for me occurs during an encounter with a random woman at a roadside coffee shop in rural Vietnam. Armed only with a notebook and translation app on her phone, she gradually dismantles the language barrier. It is a touching portrait of connection through patience and conscious effort.
This story, just a glimpse into the astonishing scope of her discovery, is full of understated heartache and humour. A series of love letters written to her father by the woman he left behind in the late 1960s figure prominently and lead to a quietly affecting finale.