5.4/10
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6 user 1 critic

Dumbarton Bridge (1999)

| Drama
John Shed, a black American, lives precariously, at the margins of Silicon Valley, with his white girl friend, Belinda. His life is thrown out of balance when his half-Vietnamese daughter, ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
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Minh
Art Desuyo ...
Duc
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Belinda
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Jack
...
Tron
Steven Anthony Jones ...
James
Hansford Prince ...
Ron
...
Marlon
Richard Harder ...
Mr. Jimmie
Laurence Thoo ...
Dung
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Salt Company Foreman
Mai Huynh ...
Peasant Woman
Patricia Tyler ...
Ms. Grey
Hunter Vo ...
Gang member (as Phu Vo)
...
John Shed
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John Shed, a black American, lives precariously, at the margins of Silicon Valley, with his white girl friend, Belinda. His life is thrown out of balance when his half-Vietnamese daughter, Minh, arrives from a refugee camp in Thailand. Father and daughter begin a parallel search for belonging and identity amidst the salt ponds and tract homes of the south San Francisco Bay Area rarely seen in films. Written by Charles Koppelman <koppelm@well.com>

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1.33 : 1
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Fairly awful film about a Vietnam veteran and his past.
13 October 1999 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

I found this a great disappointment, despite a fine jazz score and some excellent landscape cinematography. It's about John Shed, a black Vietnam veteran who is suddenly confronted by his past when the daughter he fathered and then abandoned in Vietnam suddenly arrives in the US. Shed's reaction is to sulk silently for most of the picture, as he fails to deal with the issues of his wartime past. The acting is sometimes poor, the script full of clichés (Including the mandatory scene where one character, disliking something he has heard on the phone, holds the receiver away from himself and stares at it. How often do you do that?) and the film's low budget origins are painfully obvious. Several scenes were spoiled by the boom being well in shot (though this was partly the fault of bad projection). The contrast between the lovely exterior shots and the banal interiors makes it look as if they're actually shot by two different people. Having a central character who is basically inarticulate is a recipe for a long, wearisome movie. At one point, Shed attends a sort of encounter group for black men, and as he speaks, talking about his wartime experiences, the film almost takes off - but then it fizzles out. Meanwhile the complex relationships between Shed, his white girlfriend, his daughter, and her Vietnamese friends and family, barely begin to be examined in this frankly dull film.


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