June 15th 2021 - July 14th 2021
"In Full Bloom"
dir. Maegan Houang (2019)
In Full Bloom cuts a deep narrative about a Vietnamese immigrant overcoming the loss of her partner. After her husband’s death, Cecile becomes an agoraphobic hoarder, paradoxically practicing what she loves — gardening — indoors without the help of direct sunlight. She orders mysterious worms to grow a rare flower. Though they help the flower to grow, the worms activate a growing black hole that absorbs everything she holds dear. With her home unrecognizably empty, Cecile has no choice but to leave for the first time since her husband has died and re-assimilate into society.
Through a fantastical lens, Houang poses the question: Can a person ever truly overcome losing someone they love? As such, the film explores coping after the death of a partner, which often leads to unresolved trauma and severe mental illness. Houang’s perceptive approach sheds light on the unique circumstances that affect Vietnamese Americans, particularly older individuals within the community.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Maegan Houang is a writer/director based in Los Angeles interested in exploring the crushing absurdity of the human condition. She is currently a story editor on Shōgun (FX) and previously served as a staff writer on Season Two of Counterpart (Starz/MRC). In 2018, she received a VSCO Voices Creator Grant to direct a short film she wrote entitled In Full Bloom starring Kieu Chinh (The Joy Luck Club). The film premiered online on Short of the Week and played at numerous film festivals including Fantastic Fest, Atlanta Film Festival, Oak Cliff, Hollyshorts, New Orleans, LAAPFF and Sidewalk Film Festival. Maegan has also directed music videos for artists such as Mitski, Vagabon, Charly Bliss, Chastity Belt and Skylar Spence. Her videos have been recognized by SXSW, Noisey, Fact Magazine, UKMVAs, Stereogum, Pitchfork, Raindance Film Festival, Vimeo Staff Picks and Videostatic. Her work primarily focuses on the complexity of the Asian-American experience, intergenerational trauma and and her own experience living as a mixed-race American.