Based on the Governor General’s Award–winning novel by Kim Thúy, Ru is the story of the arduous journey of a wealthy family fleeing from Vietnam, before landing in Quebec.
Based on the Governor General’s Award–winning novel by Kim Thúy, Ru is the story of the arduous journey of a wealthy family fleeing from Vietnam in 1975 after the fall of Saigon, then spending time at a refugee camp in Malaysia, before landing in Quebec.
This film adaptation, directed by Charles-Olivier Michaud, tracks the events through the eyes of the daughter of the family, Nguyen An Tinh. She’s trying to make sense of her new French-speaking life while also fully aware of the horrors that she and her family have escaped.
A stunningly beautiful film, Ru doesn’t shy away from devastating flashbacks of fleeing and hiding in buildings, friends and family left behind, and a dark and scary passage by boat. These flashbacks are juxtaposed with images of the family in snowy Quebec, trying to find their footing in a very different world than the one they were used to, making friends, and working restaurant jobs amidst culture clashes.
Including a star turn from Chloé Djandji in her first film role, as Tinh, the cast is also rounded out with Chantal Thuy (Magnum PI) as her mother, Jean Bui as her father, and Karine Vanasse (Cardinal) and Patrice Robitaille as the Quebec family that welcomes them in.
The book’s author, Kim Thúy, serves as producer.
Ru is a sombre examination of forced migration, isolation, and newfound belonging, told through rich visuals and an orchestral score.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival