Cinematographer-turned-director Ellen Kuras (she shot Analyze That, Summer of Sam, etc.) spent 23 years following the documentary story of Thavisouk Phrasavath, a man whose family was uprooted from Laos after US forces abandoned their mission to stomp out communist rebels there during the Vietnam war years. The father fought for the US and was sent to a Pathet Lao re-education camp; the mother, young Thavisouk, and most of his siblings ended up in Brooklyn, mired in gang warfare and forlorn. The doc wisely uses narration sparingly (its by Thavisouk, who also co-directed) and lets the indignities pile up. The emotional effect is overwhelming (96 min.).
Director: Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
Writer: Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
Producer: Flora Fernandez-Marengo