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The Beautiful Country (2004)

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 March 2004 (Norway)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,284 users   Metascore: 64/100
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After reuniting with his mother in Ho Chi Minh City, a family tragedy causes Binh to flee from Viet Nam to America. Landing in New York, Binh begins a road trip to Texas, where his American father is said to live.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Damien Nguyen ...
Thi Hoa Mai ...
Captain Oh
Chapman To ...
Xuan Phuc Dins ...
Thu An Nguyen ...
Old Woman
Ka Duy Pham ...
Cousin 15 years old
Minh Trang Ngo ...
Cousin 14 years old
Dang Quoc Thinh Tran ...
Thi Kim Xuan Chau ...
Tang Vu ...
Head Servant
Thu Anh ...
Mrs. Hoa


One of the consequences of the U.S.-Viet Nam war was the children of G.I.s by their Viet Namese wives and lovers. For years, women who were involved with U.S. soldiers were social outcasts, treated as collaborators while their children, even when living with grandparents, endured taunts and abuse. This is the story of one such child, Binh, being forced from his village at seventeen years, going to Saigon to find his mother, then trying to escape to the U.S. with his much younger half-brother, Tam, in 1990. The film lingers on the rigors of the voyage: the sampan, the Malaysian detention camps, the illegal refugee ship, and the underground economy with near-slavery in New York City. It then opens up when Binh leaves New York for Houston to find his father. Written by Maple-2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An epic story of hope.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and a crude sexual reference | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 March 2004 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Gi tis epangelias  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,900 (USA) (8 July 2005)


$442,612 (USA) (7 October 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the movie is set in 1990, most cars in the background are newer. See more »


Binh: How long you blind?
Steve: A long time. I worked in a storage facility in Saigon. I thought it was a crate of beer. Turned out to be explosives.
Binh: You're still alive...
Steve: Yeah, that's what they said. One minute I'm in Saigon, the next I'm in a hospital in Maryland, and six months had passed. Woke up, couldn't see, didn't know where I was. Some assholes tell me I'm lucky.
See more »


Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Coming to America
5 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The Beautiful Country" is a film that tries to capture one of the worst problems in the world today, illegal people smuggling into that promised land that for some is the United States. Director Hans Peter Moland has created a film with the feeling of a documentary that follows the hard journey of a man in search of a father he never knew. Beautifully photographed by Stuart Drybargh, and with a haunting musical score by Zbigniew Preisner, "The Beautiful Country" could well have been subtitled "His Worst Nightmare".

We are introduced to Binh, a tall young man living in Viet Nam after the end of the war. The time is 1990 and we are offered a glimpse of Binh's life where his relatives, as well as the rest of the Vietnamese don't like him because of his mixed race. His father was an American G.I. who married his mother, Mai, but Binh never gets to meet him because Steve, as the father is named, disappeared from Saigon, never to be found again.

The film is Binh's odyssey to be reunited with the father he doesn't know. It's a horrific journey where Binh shows his own skills to endure the worst possible conditions to realize his dream of getting to meet a father he never knew. It's a homage to the surviving spirit of a man.

Damien Nguyen is Binh, the young mixed race Vietnamese man. He does an outstanding job under Mr. Moland's direction. Nick Nolte, as Steve has some good moments. The supporting cast makes an excellent contribution to the movie.

The film proves to what extent a determined man will go in order to get what he wants.

44 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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