Saigon, U.S.A. is a documentary portrait about struggles over identity in the heart of the Vietnamese American community, Southern California’s Little Saigon.
Saigon, U.S.A. starts with an explosive political conflict - fifty two days of protests over a shopkeeper's display of the communist flag and Ho Chi Minh. The film then delves into the passions underlying the protests by following members of the older generation who still suffer from the loss of their homeland and members of the younger generation who are chasing the American dream.
From a deeply personal perspective, families describe the 1975 fall of Saigon, the challenges of losing their home and starting over in a strange country. The younger generation also comes to terms with the distance between themselves and the anger that erupted in the anti-communist demonstrations at the video store. By tracing the effects of the protests on the personal lives of Vietnamese Americans, Saigon, U.S.A. connects their stories to the larger historical and cultural landscape and provides a deeper understanding of the Vietnamese American community, American history and the changing face of America.
Saigon, U.S.A. was produced and directed by Lindsey Jang and Robert C. Winn in conjunction with KOCE-TV. Major funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through the Independent Television Service and the National Asian American Telecommunications Association, and the California Council for the Humanities. Visual Communications served as the fiscal sponsor.
“Brilliant, comic, gut wrenching.”
- Scott Moxley - OC Weekly, 5/30/03 LINK TO ARTICLE
"One of the best films about the Vietnamese American experience."
- Professor James Freeman, PhD (Author, Hearts of Sorrow)
"A compelling, cross-generational portrait of one of the newest
immigrant groups in America. The film movingly depicts the struggle
of Vietnamese refugees to come to terms with their loss of homeland
and exile and the forging of a new Vietnamese-American identity."
- Mark Jonathan Harris (Academy Award, Into the Arms of Strangers)
"Saigon, U.S.A. aptly documents the birth of a new American community, uprooted in the aftermath of war and forever torn apart by the wounds of the past, yet one capable of healing against all odds. An engrossing yet succinct film that captures not only a major incident in Vietnamese American life, but also an important chapter of American history. A profound film that manages to confront us with the deepest sorrow while allowing us to be hopeful about what it means to be human."
- Nguyen Qui Duc, (Host, KQED’s Pacific Time)
"This excellent documentary about America’s largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam – Westminster’s Little Saigon in Orange County – is framed by the 1999 protests against a video-store owner who hung a Communist flag and picture of Ho Chi Minh in his front-window display. The dialogue that ensued – about loyalty, tradition and freedom of speech – serves as excellent conversation points for Saigon, U.S.A. Perspectives of the older generation that mourns the loss of its homeland are balanced with the voices of the younger generation, which is busy trying to carve out its own definition of the American dream. Highly recommended."
- Metro, March 13, 2003, Vol. 19. no. 3. San Jose, CA
"Protest, documentary prompt Vietnamese immigrants to reexamine their roots 29 years after fall of Saigon."
- Mary Vuong, Houston Chronicle LINK TO ARTICLE
SEE REACTIONS TO THE FILM
- Seattle, WA: 6/26/04, 7pm, Theater Off Jackson, 409 7th Ave. S. - reception and special guests!
- 5/2/04, 11pm, KTWU – Topeka, KS
- 5/3/04, 11pm, KQED – San Francisco, CA
- 5/3/04, 11pm, KSCM – Bay Area, 5/5 4 am
- 5/4/04, 7pm, KTCI - Minneapolis St. Paul, MN
- 5/4/04, 7pm, WXXI - Rochester, NY
- 5/5/04, 4am, KSCM – Bay Area,
- 5/6/04, 10pm, WNED Buffalo/Toronto
- 5/6/04, 8pm, KOCE - Orange County
- 5/7/04, 4:30am, WNED - Buffalo/Toronto
- 5/8/04, 2:30am, WHYY - Philadelphia
- 5/10/04, 10pm, KVIE – Sacramento, CA
- 5/11/04, 2pm, KVIE – Sacramento, CA
- 5/11/04, 9pm, WGBH 44 – Boston
- 5/16/04, 1am, WETA – Wash DC
- 5/24/04, 12am, IPTV - Iowa
- 5/27/04, 9pm, KOCE - Orange County
- 5/29/04, 9pm, WNVC - Washington, DC
- Check your local broadcast schedules for:
- KLRU - Austin, TX
KBDI - Denver
AWARDS & FESTIVALS
- » Cine Eagle Award
- » Asian American Int'l Film Festival, Asian Cinevision
- » Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Washington, D.C.
- » Aurora Asian Film Festival, Denver
- » Hawaii International Film Festival
- » Los Angeles Asian Film and Video Festival
- » Salt Lake Asian Pacific Film Festival
- » San Diego Asian Film Festival
- » San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
- » Silverlake Film Festival
- » Wisconsin Film Festival