7.3/10
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2 user 3 critic

The Journey of Vaan Nguyen (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 29 September 2005 (Israel)
Hoiami Nguyen never imagined that he will end up so far from his home village of Bong Son in central Vietnam. Political circumstances and the roulette of life have washed him to the shores ... See full summary »

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Vaan Nguyen ... Herself
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Hoiami Nguyen never imagined that he will end up so far from his home village of Bong Son in central Vietnam. Political circumstances and the roulette of life have washed him to the shores of Israel. The penniless Vietnamese refugee became a father of 5 Hebrew speaking Israeli daughters. His daughter - Vaan, describes her parents' ordeal using a razor sharp language in her blog. She feels trapped in circles of identity which will never meet. Caught between her wild and stormy Israeli spirit and the expectations to be modest and obedient Vietnamese at home, there is unbridgeable abyss. When her father returns to his family in Vietnam, Van finds herself absorbed into his tragic story - a cruel tale of loss and survival. Hoimai's dream of return sends Vaan to look for a brighter future in the new-old country. She joins him in trying to reclaim the lands of the family, in the remote village at the heart of the Vietnamese jungle. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated
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Zygote Films

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29 September 2005 (Israel)  »

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Hamasa Shel Vaan  »

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Loosely edited documentary about an exiled Vietnamese who returns to Vietnam
30 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

A loosely edited documentary about a Vietnamese man, Vaan Nguyen, who escaped the communist regime after the end of the war. Part of the boat people who escaped by being rescued at sea. Vaan is accepted into Israel as an humanitarian gesture. He, his wife and three daughters live modestly. He works in a restaurant (?).

Vaan takes advantage of a more open Vietnam to visit is home country. He also wants to explore the possibility of returning permanently. His parents owned lands but those are now in the hands of others. It looks uncertain that he can claim them back. More importantly the issue of bringing his family with him back to Vietnam faces a major hurdle. The daughters, born in Israel, are clearly culturally part of the Israeli society despite not being Jewish and despite their exotic appearance vis a vis the predominant phenotype in that corner of the world. In Vietnam they look like everyone else, but they think differently. The daughters are from the getgo nonparticipants in the father's plans. It is in showing this kind of cultural/ethnic clash that the documentary is at its best.


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