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A Vietnamese tale in the heart of Warsaw: "The Taste of Pho" at Five Flavours!

08 October 2019

This year there is one more flavour to enrich the festival – "The Taste of Pho". Already in November, we invite you to the great opening night attended by the authors of the film.

Mariko Bobrik tells her Polish-Vietnamese story through frames inspired by works of Yasujiro Ozu.

The film, directed by debuting Mariko Bobrik, is a genuine multicultural melting pot – a Japanese director educated in Łódź shot a Polish-German co-production with Vietnamese actors in the very heart of Warsaw. "The Taste of Pho" had its world premiere at the prestigious San Sebastian International Film Festival.

The creation of "The Taste of Pho" was possible mainly thanks to Cinéfondation programme organized by the Cannes Film Festival. This is where Mariko Bobrik developed her screenplay. The director is also an alumna of Berlinale Talents – a project supporting the most talented young filmmakers.

Bobrik moved to Europe at a very young age. First, she lived in London but she started studying film direction at the Lodz Film School. It is here, in Poland, that she developed closer contacts with the Vietnamese community.

When I first came to Poland in 2002, I didn’t even know where they were from. I lived in England before and I was used to diversity. But I am a foreigner too, so that was certainly one of the reasons, and then I wanted to make a film about their traditional soup: pho.

An unsophisticated story about the traditional Vietnamese soup gradually turned into a multidimensional tale about searching one’s true place in the world and the difficulties which may hide behind the seemingly simple definition of "home". Bobrik manages to show a highly authentic picture of this hermetic community. Instead of professional actors, she engages for the film the Vietnamese living in Warsaw - so similar to the characters of "The Taste of Pho".

This November the Five Flavours audience will get a unique opportunity to watch this enchanting film and to talk to its authors. At the beginning of 2020, Five Flavours will start the distribution of "The Taste of Pho" in cinemas.

The Taste of Pho

dir. Mariko Bobrik
Poland 2019, 84’

10-year-old Maja hides from her classmates the lunch of traditional meals prepared for her every morning by her father, a Vietnamese chef and master of pho soup, who is trying to find his own path in the reality of Warsaw. When his long-term boss decides to return to his homeland, he has to face the requirements of the new restaurant owner. However, mastering new cooking skills is a minor challenge, compared to raising his daughter as a single parent: the growing-up girl is incredibly perceptive.

Mariko Bobrik tells her Polish-Vietnamese story through frames inspired by works of Yasujiro Ozu. Subdued colours reflect the aura of winter in the city with its grey pavements and interiors filled with warm light. With ordinary objects and small gestures, the director relates her characters’ complex emotions and desires. She gives the viewers an insight into the life of Warsaw Vietnamese community but her story is much more universal. This warm family portrait is a touching essay on closeness and alienation, longing and consequence in pursuit of one’s goals. 


director and screenplay: Mariko Bobrik

cast: Lena Nguyen, Long Thang Long Do, Aleksandra Domańska, Bogusława Pawelec, Gia Khai Ton

production companies: Rohfilm Productions, Lava Films

co-production: Lodz Film Fund / EC1 Miasto Kultury, Opus Film


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