A highlight at the 2007 Cannes, Toronto and New York film festivals, Flight of the Red Balloon is the latest masterpiece from HOu Hsiao Hsien (Cafe Lumiere, Three Times). Inspired by Albert Lamorisse's 195 Academy Award winning classic, The Red Balloon, Hou expands on its key elements - a young boy, a red balloon and Paris - to weave an achingly beautiful tale on the mysteries of familial bonds and the lingering effects the past has on us all.
A precocious young boy, Simon (Simon Iteanu) must deal with the increasing fragility of mother, the loving yet preoccupied Suzanne (Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche of The English Patient, Cache). Completely immersed in her own tribulations, Suzanne hires Song (Fang Song), a Taiwanese film student, to help care for Simon. Together with Song, a unique extended family is formed, utterly interdependent yet lost in separate thoughts and dreams mirrored by a delicate, shiny red balloon.