Buffalo Boy (Nguyen, 2004)

Buffalo Boy (Nguyen-Vo Minh, 2004)

When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, ‘My son’; and he answered, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.’  –Genesis 27: 1-4

A solid coming-of-age story. A quiet but confident teenage boy is sent, in essence, to take on the world as his parents request he take their two buffalos to dry land to feed during flood season. It’s a long journey which finds him doing whatever he can to survive and meet his parents’ requests. But in doing so, he has no choice to grow up quickly. As he returns home, the story has really just begun. From here his relationship with his father, with his mother, with his newfound friends and enemies all contribute to the continual molding of this boy as a person. The many different worldviews become blurry, and like any other teenager, he bounces back and forth between believing the world has the answers and his father has the answers. It becomes a great depiction of a father/son relationship and how growing up and going out, and eventually maturing reshapes that relationship. Overall, it’s not as cinematic an experience as I would have liked and tends to become unfocused at times, but it’s a good watch despite this.  7.5/10

buffalo boy


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