Monday, March 13, 2006

"Journey From The Fall"

An independent film that I will see. There are a whole lot of movies made about the Vietnam War and the effect of the war. But there are few, if none, made from the perspective of a Vietnamese. Unless that Vietnamese happens to be a Communist "freedom fighter" who triumphed over the "Imperialist America."
Few undestand that horrible price paid by many of us in the South, particularly my parent generation who had to live under Communist tyranny. "Journey From The Fall" is the first movie attempting to fill that gap.
Fresh from its screening at the Sundance Film Festival, JOURNEY FROM THE FALL is the first major American film to dramatize the traumatic aftermath of the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese perspective. Unlike Hollywood films with a one-sided focus on the American psyche, Ham Tran’s impressive feature-length debut delves into the stories of those left behind after the fall of Saigon.
Despite his allegiance to the toppled South Vietnamese government, Long Nguyen decides to remain in Vietnam. Arrested and imprisoned in a Communist re-education camp, he urges his family to make the treacherous escape by boat without him. They embark on the arduous ocean voyage, braving sickness, starvation and pirates in the hope of reaching the U.S. and freedom. Back in Vietnam, Long suffers years of solitary confinement and hard labor, and finally despairs that his family has perished. But news of their successful resettlement in America inspires him to make one last desperate attempt to join them.
This gorgeous, gripping epic skillfully interweaves the little-known horrors of the re-education camps with a visceral account of the trials and triumphs of the refugee experience. With superb performances and luminous cinematography, it tells an intensely moving story with dignity and astonishing lyricism. Filmed in the lush terrain of Southeast Asia by Guillermo Rosas (BEFORE NIGHT FALLS) and the sun-baked streets of California by Julie Kirkwood, JOURNEY FROM THE FALL is a tribute to the perseverance and hope of the Vietnamese people, and a testament to the beauty and power of filmmaking.
I will not be able to see it until it comes out in DVD, but if you are in San Franciso (March 16 -23), Berkeley (March 17 - 25), and San Jose (March 24 - 26), go see the movie. Here is the site you can order tickets.


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