DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, by documentarians Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco, travels
a fascinating arc from hope and euphoria to reality and disillusionment as it
follows Heidi Bub as she returns to Vietnam to reunite with her birth mother.
Although it's easy to foretell its shocking conclusion as cultures clash, its
emotional impact is undeniable.
A self-described "101% Americanized" young woman with a husband and two young
girls, Heidi was born in Vietnam. In 1975 at the age of 7, Heidi and two
thousand other "orphans" were airlifted out of the country in operation
"Babylift." Many of these children weren't orphans at all but were Amerasians
kids born of Vietnamese mothers and American soldiers. Heidi was one of these
mixed race children who were sent to America to escape the arriving Communist
victors who might kill them on the spot.
A sweet woman with a loving heart, Heidi goes back to visit her mother Mai Thi
Kim, who seems just as loving as her daughter. Heidi looks and sounds like a
lifelong Southerner from Tennessee, but, when she meets her real mother, the
resemblance is obvious and striking.
The first of many surprises occurs when Heidi begins to reveal the truth of her
upbringing by Ann, her adoptive, single mother. Although they traveled
extensively, their life together was strict and loveless.
By the end of the movie, you may find yourself pondering many issues from the
meaning of maternal love to how small cultural differences can easily escalate
into Grand Canyons that are forever insurmountable.
DAUGHTER FROM DANANG runs just 1:20. The film is in English and in Vietnamese
with English subtitles. It is not rated but would probably be PG for mature
themes and would be acceptable for any kids old enough to be interested in
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes