Members of a Vietnamese family return to Vietnam after living in Israel for twenty-five years.
Director: Duki Dror
Producer: Yael Shavit
Writer: Violette Shitzer
Israel 2005 | 84 mins | Color Video | Vietnamese, Hebrew w/English subtitles
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.
The film was featured at the following festivals: Premiere at the Jerusalem Film Festival (July, 2005), International Premiere at IDFA, Amsterdam (November, 2005), San Francisco Asian American Film Festival (March, 2006), Toronto reel world Film Festival, Canada (April, 2006), Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada (April, 2006), 29th Asian American Intl Film Festival in Manhattan (July, 2006).
Film website: http://zygotefilms.com/vaan.htm
Cost: Free and open to the public.
Parking at UCLA costs $8.
Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Center, Consulate General of Israel, Bruins for Israel, Viet Nam Language and Culture club, Vietnamese International Film Festival, UCLA Hillel, Vietnamese Student Union