The Journey of Vaan Nguyen

March 22, 2006

an Jose Screenings: San Jose Camera 12

March 25, Sat 2PM: The Journey of Vaan Nguyen
The unheard story of Israel's Vietnamese refugee community is told
through the experiences of two members of the same family, separated
by generations but united by a desire for "home." Hanmoi Nguyen, a
man who fled Vietnam and now lives in the "Land of the Jews" with
five Hebrew-speaking daughters, desires to return to his village,
reclaim his ancestral land and confront the man who forced him to
flee. His daughter Vaan, a writer increasingly alienated from
Israeli society, joins her father's journey, hoping to find a new
life, and a sense of belonging, in a land she barely knows.

Balancing surreal archival footage of Vietnamese refugees being
assimilated into Israeli culture with scenes of the affection and
conflict between Hanmoi's four other daughters, THE JOURNEY OF VAAN
NGUYEN conveys the emotional tolls that war and displacement
inflicts upon individuals. As the family's story unfolds through the
poetic voices and writings of father and daughter, their personal
journeys lead them to the most unexpected places, and some
surprising discoveries.

Filmmaker Duki Dror is an Israeli of Iraqi ethnicity; THE JOURNEY OF
VAAN NGUYEN continues his interests in examining the social and
ethnic dilemmas of contemporary Israel, and in exploring the subtle,
yet profound complexities of maintaining cultural identity in an
increasingly interconnected world.

March 26, Sun 4:30PM: Kieu
Kieu bursts open like a flower one colorful Mission morning as the
lovely heroine steps out for the day. Waving to her goldfish, she
flirts with the smitten greengrocer and mulls over the election at
the flower shop. But as day moves into night, and the bus takes her
into the Tenderloin, we see that Kieu works at an "Oriental" massage
parlor, desperately making money to send to her family in Vietnam.
In one 24-hour slice of her life, a shocking encounter threatens to
destroy Kieu's carefully compartmentalized existence, and bring
forth the ghosts of her past.

Director Vu has appropriated the ingredients of a potentially
maudlin melodrama and created a fresh, intensely tender look at one
young woman's experience. Loosely based on Vietnam's epic nineteenth-
century poem The Tale of Kieu , in which the heroine sells herself
to redeem her family's debt, the film re-situates Kieu in the
neighborhoods of 21st-century San Francisco. It's a passionate,
supple work that balances documentary-like footage of massage parlor
life with the occasional apparition of ghostly kindred spirits.
Created by Bay Area filmmaking collective Sycamore Street
Productions, Kieu is an epic fable of yesterday, and a telling
vision of women's survival and perseverance today.


Tickets are available at, outlets, or by phone at 800-225-2277.  Purchasing in
advance is highly advised, as shows will sell out!  Discounted group
tickets for regular shows are available, as well as our special


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: