7.5/10
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28 user 29 critic

Daughter from Danang (2002)

Separated at the end of the Vietnam war, an "Americanized" woman and her Vietnamese mother are reunited after 22 years.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mai Thi Kim ... Herself
Heidi Neville-Bub ... Herself
... Himself (archive footage)
Tom Miller ... Himself
Tran Tuong Nhu ... Herself
Mabel Neville ... Herself
Don Neville ... Himself
Royce Hughes ... Herself
Wanda Hamlett ... Herself
John Bub ... Himself
Do Huu Vinh ... Himself
Do Trong Tinh ... Himself
Do Thi Thu Hien ... Herself
Do Thi Hong Lien ... Herself
Dinh Dung ... Himself
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Storyline

In 1975, as the Vietnam War was ending, thousands of orphans and Amerasian children were brought to the United States as part of "Operation Babylift." Daughter from Danang tells the dramatic story of one of these children, Heidi Bub (a.k.a. Mai Thi Hiep), and her Vietnamese mother, Mai Thi Kim, separated at the war's end and reunited 22 years later. Heidi, now living in Tennessee - a married woman with kids - had always dreamt of a joyful reunion. When she ventures to Vietnam to meet her mother, she unknowingly embarks on an emotional pilgrimage that spans decades and distance. Unlike most reunion stories that climax with a cliché happy ending, Daughter from Danang is a real-life drama. Journeying from the Vietnam War to Pulaski, Tennessee and back to Vietnam, Daughter from Danang tensely unfolds as cultural differences and the years of separation take their toll in a riveting film about longing and the personal legacy of war. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

PG
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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I kori apo to Danang  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[last line]
Heidi Neville-Bub: I guess I have closed the door on them... But I didn't lock the door. It's closed but not locked
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User Reviews

 
A sad story of loss and cultural divide...
5 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a beautifully shot but often difficult film to watch — mostly because, as a previous reviewer has mentioned, the Amerasian daughter, Heidi, seems ignorant of her cultural heritage and unwilling to learn. We learn that she was raised by a cold woman who kept her Vietnamese heritage a secret, but even as an adult Heidi doesn't do anything to educate herself about her family or their culture. As she's leaving on the plan for Danang, we see her only just learning how speak the language in a cursory way.

The film beautifully communicates how traumatic the separation of half-American children from their Vietnamese mothers was on all sides. Heidi was denied a family, her mother was forced to sleep with an American soldier to save her other children during a war, and the family continues to live in poverty. It is very difficult to watch how shabbily Heidi treats the family after they open their lives and homes to her, but I suppose that highlights how ignorant many of the children who were brought here in "Operation Babydrop" were and are. It is particularly sad to see how judgmental she is of them — she brings them useless American gifts, but gets angry when they ask for help in supporting her mother. It is especially sad when you realize that if she had only taken the time to understand Vietnamese culture, the misunderstanding may have never come up.

Overall, it's an often frustrating and difficult story to watch, but one that is well-told and forthright in its honesty.


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