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The Beautiful Country (2004)

 -  Drama  -  13 March 2004 (Norway)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,147 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 32 user | 43 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

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

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

An epic story of hope.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Release Date:

13 March 2004 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Gi tis epangelias  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$442,612 (USA) (7 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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

Quotes

Steve: We had a boy. He was just a baby. He had the eyes of an old man, even at 2 months. Maybe they all do, we didn't know.
Binh: Why you no go back?
Steve: Go back? See the old sights? No, I left her to take care of the child alone. I didn't think she needed a blind man to look after.
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.


43 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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