DisOrient 2015 Stateless and Master Hoa's Requiem
Stateless (2012) Feature Documentary - 56 min. - Vietnamese, English
Director, Producer Duc Nguyen
In 2005, after 16 years of being forgotten, the remaining Vietnamese refugees who have been living in the Philippines without legal status received the news they have been waiting. The US government sent officials to Manila to look into their cases. As the refugees anxiously waited for dream to come true, the stories of their struggle for freedom are revealed.
Master Hoa's Requiem (2014) Short Documentary - 17 min - Vietnamese, English
Director Scott Edwards, Executive Producer Nancy Bui
After fighting in the South Vietnamese Special Forces and spending three years in a communist re-education camp, Master Hoa Nguyen fled Vietnam with his family in 1981. Hoa's boat was attacked by pirates, his wife was raped in front of him, and ultimately the boat sunk, killing all on board including his young daughter and son. After a lethal exchange with the pirates, Hoa was the only survivor.
Thirty years later, Master Hoa, now the highest ranking master of Vovinam martial arts in the US, returns to Southeast Asia for the first time to search for his family's graves. At 70 years old, the trip is painful and even risky for the martial arts master who has spent decades trying to put the events behind him. Having fought professionally in Vietnam, Hoa still wrestles with the fact that he could not protect his family when they needed him the most. The guilt overwhelms him at times, causing him nightmares and suicidal thoughts. He spent eight years in a mental institution coping with the loss. Returning to the practice of martial arts allowed him to carry on with his life. He still relies on the discipline for tranquility. Finding the burial sites of loved ones is very important in Hoa's culture.
The film resolves with the realization that while the past cannot be altered, what we do in our life today ultimately defines us. Hoa attributes his purpose in life to a higher power, who has plans for him beyond his own comprehension.
Q&A with Stateless Producer Mai-Phuong Nguyen 15 min
BIJOU ART CINEMAS (View)
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