Bittersweet Survival : Southeast Asian Refugees in America
This documentary examines the re-settlement of South-East Asian refugees in the United States in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The film begins with a montage of riveting footage depicting the devastating effects of the war. It then unveils the mixed reception given Vietnamese refugees in the United States, from battles with local fishermen in Monterey, California, to conflicts in Philadelphia where their arrival in the city's poorest neighborhoods kindled resentment in the Black community. The film also explores their struggle to cope with life in the U.S. and maintain their identity.
"Technique for us is secondary. The people themselves have a rich life experience, a knowledge of history and their culture and community organization. And these people are far more qualified to make films than people who have learned their skills in a school."
"For many refugees, America is not the land of hope, but the place of shattered dreams."
- David Kishiyama, L.A.TIMES
• Honorable Mention, Athens International Film Festival
• Silk Screen Series, PBS, 1982
• At Home and Abroad Film Series, Harvard Film Archive