Films tell tales of SE Asian immigrants in U.S.
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 18, 2006

Holding on to heritage is tough task

Jessica Wanke
Four films exploring the experience of Southeast Asian immigrants to the United States will be screened this month at the Tempe Historical Museum.

The documentaries separately tell the stories of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian people, though they share common themes of relocation and maintaining identity.

"They all focus on Southeast Asia and the experience of immigration from that area of the world. . . . The challenges of holding on to cultural heritage and traditions while trying to adjust to a life in the U.S.," said Sambo Dul, a coordinator of the film series.

The screenings are part of the museum's exhibit, "A Proud Journey Home:
Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese Communities in Arizona," which examines refugee experiences in Arizona, namely Tempe, in the 30 years after the Vietnam War.

The exhibit and film series has been a joint effort of the Tempe Historical Museum, the Program for Southeast Asian Studies at Arizona State University, and Community Outreach & Advocacy for Refugees, a Tempe-based non-profit organization.

The exhibit itself will be open through Sept. 21.

The films Daughter from Danang, A.K.A. Don Bonus, Monkey Dance and Blue Collar & Buddha are being screened, in that order, Tuesdays in April.

"What we're trying to do is raise awareness of the fact that there are these communities now that are part of the larger community," Dul said. "The more that we can understand these refugee communities and those that are living among us, the more we can share."

Each of the films will be followed by a discussion, lead by a guest speaker.
Admission to the films is free.

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