February 6, 2008

Map locates Mosul, Iraq where five U.S. soldiers were killed in an attack, ESRI, AP

An American Experience is a PBS history series which is worth watching. I've watched several of the shows, i. e., one recently about Walter Freeman who was the guru of lobotomies.

I just watched Daughter From Danang. This film won the Sundance Award for best documentary in 2002.

Daughters From Danang makes so much come alive from my Vietnam experience. In our present war, Iraq, for example, the contact, relatively speaking, with the female Iraqi population and American soldiers is limited.

In Vietnam, the opposite. Many Amerasian children were the result of a liaison between an American GI and Vietnamese woman. In fact, this is the basic gist of this documentary which is many sided and very moving.

Daughter From Danang is one of those stories that started out going one way and was almost predictable-A Vietnamese child(Heidi Neville-Bub,a.k.a. Mai Thi Hiep) brought to America in the 1975 Baby Lift, grows up in America, but has the need to go back to find her Mother and has a warm mother-daughter reunion.

DIDN'T HAPPEN! As it turned out, she ran head on into cultural issues with her Vietnamese mother and the family that she left behind. As often happens with Asian cultures, in particular, much revolved around money. Her family was poor and asked for money. Her mother wanted to return to America with her.

The very sweet Amerasian child, Heidi, who had grown into a beautiful American, suddenly was confronted with an enormous cultural divide. She is now married to a career Navy guy and two little girls.

Thrown into this mix is her adoptive Mom, somewhat of a Cruella de Vil. The adoptive Mom, from the deep South, gets hooked into some sort of selfish modality. I think ignorance, lack of education, and basic perception, i. e., "Why would she want to see her birth mother when I have done all this for her?" was the problem. Very sad, and, this Cruella DeVil type threw Heidi out of her home at an early age. That part of the story was not explored very much but Heidi did remain a part of her American Grandma's family. Thank the Lord for Grandmas.

Another area that didn't see much action was a search for the father. Thinking in that direction brought back all these memories. Good, DVD. Rent it if you want a little different take on one of the many fall-outs of Vietnam.
2 parachutes

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