The River that Holds Our Hands | 擁啊擁 ong6 a7 ong6

Drama 劇情


Production Stage
Complete First Cut

Total Budget
US$ 63,747

Logline 故事摘要
A documentary director, with Aunt Po Wah’s 70-year-old photo, searches Saigon but finds only memories. Her stories of family and longing shared in Teochew, China, intertwine with Vietnam’s present, casting him adrift in a dreamlike reality.


Synopsis 故事大綱
In Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, the elderly Lam Po Wah dreams of returning to scenes from her childhood photos; in Saigon, Vietnam, a documentary director, Ah Wei, holding a family photo taken 70 years ago embarks on a journey of exploration. The filmmaker is deeply moved by the stories of the Teochew diaspora, who have faced numerous challenges abroad while yearning for their distant relatives.
However, the once-familiar Saigon has been transformed by the ravages of war, making the filmmaker’s quest increasingly difficult. Just as hope seems to wane, an unexpected encounter breathes new life into his journey.
As he meanders through the rich tapestry of Saigon’s history, the filmmaker is drawn into the conversations and landscapes in Teochew, China he has heard about from Po Wah. The striking similarities between Saigon and the filmmaker’s homeland evoke a surreal, dreamlike state. He grapples with the interplay between reality and memory, finding it hard to separate present-day Saigon from his vivid recollections. 


Director’s Statement 導演闡述
In the mid-20th century, the First Indochina War uprooted many Vietnamese Chinese. Born in Saigon, Pui Wah spent her youth trapped by the war in Cambodia. In 1966, they moved to Puning in Teochew, only to face the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. Though the smoke of war is cleared, its scars lingered. Such tragedies persist till today, with many drifting unseen through time.
By early 2023, this project had been filmed for two years in documentary form. An encounter with short film funding led to a fictional film idea, offering greater creative freedom. Intrigued by the Teochew diaspora and their generational memories, I would love to infuse my imagination and contemplation into the film: How would they have lived without the war? How can my film best capture historical truth?
The film’s Chinese title, “擁啊擁 ong6 a7 ong6,” is derived from a Teochew lullaby, evoking the rhythm of a swaying ship. I aim to use touch as a bridge to the past, stirring memories and emotions. War may divide us, but only rivers and mountains recount the memories.

電影的中文標題《擁啊擁(ong6 a7 ong6)》取自一首潮州搖籃曲,勾勒著船隻搖晃的節奏。我希望以觸覺作為通向過去的橋樑,激起記憶和情感。戰爭也許會使我們分離,但只有河山能夠訴說這些記憶。

Director 導演

Chen Jianhang 陳堅杭
Jianhang Chen is a filmmaker from Teochew. He was a member of the International Film Festival Rotterdam Sessions 2020. His films often blur the boundaries between documentary and fiction, focusing on the Teochew diaspora living in their homeland and scattered worldwide, exploring their living spaces and spiritual beliefs.


Producer 監製

Lin Ziyang 林梓陽
Lin Ziyang, grew up in Teochew, Guangdong Province and now lives in the United Kingdom. He has worked as a producer for the independent films Haunting (2019) and The River that Holds Our Hands (2024). 

在潮州及廣東成長,現居英國。曾監製《擁啊擁 ong6 a7 ong6》(2024)等獨立電影。

Producer 監製

Chen Baiqi 陳柏麒
Chen Baiqi, born in 1991, is a writer, curator and documentary filmmaker with a dual master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, United Kingdom. With the experience from OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, he provides project planning for museums, focusing on modern Chinese art and architecture. He also curates for Kwan Teo Time-based Art Institution.

1991年生,寫作人、策展人及紀錄片工作者,芝加哥藝術學院雙碩士畢業,現為倫敦皇家藝術學院博士研究生。具有於OCT當代藝術中心的經驗,他現為博物館規劃項目,專注於現代中國藝術及建築。同時亦為Kwan Teo Time-based Art Institution策劃。