After Bi, Don’t Be Afraid, screened at the 2010 3 Continents Festival, Phan Dang Di has again composed a sensitive and captivating group portrait. In Mekong Stories, the view of young Bi has given way to that of a young man discovering his sexuality. Vũ arrives in Saigon to study photography, while his father has plans to marry him off to the charming orphan girl Vũ grew up with. But are these fine plans doomed to sink into the muddy depths of the Mekong? The year is 2000, and the economic crisis is clouding future prospects, leaving the way open for dangerous expedients. A vasectomy in exchange for a Nokia? Why not? Rather than look far ahead, people prefer to fly high, if only for the space of a drug-enhanced night at the disco. But after the ecstasy comes a painful waking. Vũ discovers this night-time world with one of his flatmates, Thang, a barman and petty dealer. Contrary to those filled with desire for the sublime dancer Van, Vũ desires to become her so he can give free reign to his attraction for Thang. Clammy bodies eye, smell and brush past each other, in a voluptuous ballet with a lush forest for its setting.