Generous in spirit and fearlessly observant, this tale of an outcast Vietnamese man's journey to freedom deserves a place of honor among the great films portraying emigrant tenacity -- everything from The New Land to the Godfather movies. Directed by young Norwegian Hans Petter Moland and starring a Vietnamese newcomer educated in California (Damien Nguyen), the odyssey takes us from the streets of Saigon to a filthy Malaysian refugee camp, a gruesome ocean voyage aboard a tramp steamer, and a period of enslavement in New York's Chinatown. The "beautiful country" of the title is less a place than the deathless dream of contentment that motivates its beleaguered, mixed-blood hero. Co-starring a Chinese beauty named Bai Ling and, once the story delivers us to rural Texas, a gritty, weary Nick Nolte. A completely authentic film.
Director: Hans Moland
Producer: Tomas Backström, Petter J. Borgli, Terrence Malick and Edward Pressman
Cast: Damien Nguyen, Nick Nolte, Tim Roth, Bai Ling, Temuera Morrison, Dang Tran, Thi Nguyen, Vu Tang, Nguyen Kien, Thi Bui, Chapman To, Kirk Griffith, Xuan Phuc Dins, Phyllis Cicero, Glen Bradford, Richard Black, Thu Anh, John Hussey, Don McCoy and Thi Kim Chau