It's been almost a year since the documentary "Terror in Little Saigon" had ignited emotional reactions from the Vietnamese community. Some were against the film and others were supportive of restoring the investigation of the murders of five Vietnamese-Americans. Blames were hurled and petitions were created from both sides. The film's opponents scolded that it would irrevocably damage the image of Vietnamese enclaves as peaceful and thriving. Proponents pointed fingers at their own people for being passive and ignorant at the crimes. Facts were upstaged by false pride, a cloak for insecurity. The pursuit of truth was a license to exploit the subjectivity of the past. Silence has always been the residue of shame and guilt.
“Ăn Quả Nhớ Kẻ Trồng Cây", a Vietnamese proverb that means when eating a fruit remember who planted the tree. Not only do we remember our benefactor but we have to re-pay that generosity by planting new trees for others. With the current Syrian refugee crisis, it hits home to many Vietnamese Americans who’d been there before. A quick Google search shows heart wrenching images of Syrian civilians’ plight for freedom mirroring the Vietnamese boat people after the Vietnam War. It’s important for Vietnamese Americans to voice their concern over this emergency even though we are only a minority. Our actions do make a difference. We were on the same boats as the Syrians now, only we were a little luckier. What we do as American minority now is crucial to our future in this country. We can no longer stay silence and passive in politic. We have an obligation to at least do something. We must plant the seed for this tree that will grow.
I saw an article from Yahoo news the other day about why so many Viets work in the nail industry. I've always wonder about this since I have family, relatives, and friends who work with the trade. It turns out that Tippi Hedren, the famous Hollywood actress in a couple of Hitchcock films, inspires the start of it all. A very long time ago, while she was helping Vietnamese women refugees at Camp Hope, they saw her nails and were enamored by them. That adoration breathed life into the then unpopular industry. No doubt Michelle Phan should call Tippi grandma and pay her loyalty fees. Anyhow, that's how a lot of Vietnamese people got into the nail industry.
My favorite animated movie of all time is Bambi. It has a profound impact on me even when I was a child. I saw it on a black and white TV in my village and remembered that I cried during the scene where Bambi’s mother got killed by human hunters. After that my family had a puppy and I called him Bambi. ...continue reading →
Jenny is the most prolific producer/assistant director in Vietnamese contemporary commercial/indie film right now. Check her IMDB page! I ran into an article from OneVietnam.org about her spilling the beans on film production in the motherland. Check out the bullet points in the article, especially the mentioning of which type of films are generally being supported/made in the South and in the North. She's currently with CHANH PHUONG FILM, one of the biggest production companies in Vietnam. ...continue reading →
The only film critic that I know in Vietnam who writes in English and has a background in Screenwriting is Do Thuy Linh. Some of the most insightful articles about Vietnamese cinema are authored by her. Each month she publishes an article on Vietnamese Cinema at Thanh Nien News under a column called Through The Lens. ...continue reading →
She's known for her expansive Blindness Series, which I've made it my 2014 new year's resolution to see even though it's really hard to get and costly. Likely, it's for art collector, sort of like the Cremaster Cycle. I saw the previews for each of the films and they're really intriguing. Hope I can get a hand on it for a lower price or free somewhere. ...continue reading →