Filmed entirely in Ho Chi Minh City, Diane Severin Nguyen’s (b. 1990 in Carson, CA; lives between Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY) Tyrant Star (2019) prompts viewers to consider how cultural touchstones like songs and shared histories are fragmented and woven together anew with the passage of time. The work unfolds in three chapters, beginning with a view of the metropolis set to Ca Dao (Vietnamese folk poems), before shifting to an aspiring YouTube star performing a cover of “The Sound of Silence” and concluding with footage of children at a Ho Chi Minh City orphanage. Each chapter focuses on different voices and perspectives, but they are linked by messages of grief and care that remain unheard or misunderstood as well as by reminders of pain, isolation, and trauma. Nguyen’s camera captures trash-strewn landscapes, quiet interiors, and fragmented bodies, highlighting subtle movements that suggest our surroundings are alive, swelling with the memories of the past.