From the director of Cyclo and The Scent of Green Papaya comes this tale of three sisters who live in close proximity in present-day Hanoi. Lien (Tran Nu Yen Khe), the youngest sister, shares an apartment with her younger brother Hai (Ngo Quang Hai) and works at a cafe run by oldest sister Suong (Nguyen Nhu Quynh). Suong is the wife of Quoc (Chu Hung), a photographer with whom she has a son. The middle sibling Khan (Le Khanh) is married to Kien (Tran Manh Cuong), a writer in the midst of finishing his first novel. Over the course of one month, the family is convened for the anniversary of the death of the sisters' mother and when reminiscing about their departed matriarch, they bring up the memory of a mysterious man who seems to have been part of their mother's past. Kien begins to look for clues about Toan's identity, and Suong reveals that she has been involved with another man. Lien is sharing sleeping quarters with her brother Hai while keeping track of her flighty boyfriend, and fantasizes about being pregnant. During their husbands' absences, Khan and Suong have a deep conversation about fidelity and reveal secrets they have kept inside for some time; when their husbands return, they begin to question their faithfulness and dedication to them. The Vertical Ray of the Sun screened at the 2000 Toronto International Film Festival.