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February 2005
First Look: Beautiful Country

First Look: Beautiful Country

Distributor: Sony Picture Classics
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Producers: Petter J. Borgli, Edward R. Pressman, Terrence Malick
Screenwriter: Sabrina Murray, Larry Gross, Terrence Malick
Cast: Bai Ling, Tran Dang Quoc Thinh, Tim Roth, Nick Nolte, and Damien Nguyen

One of the consequences of America's involvement in the Vietnam war, was the children of GI's by their Vietnamese wives and lovers. For years those women who were involved with Americans were social outcasts, treated as collaborators while their children, even when living with grandparents, endured taunts and abuse. This is the story of one such love child, Binh (Damien Nguyen), being forced from his village at 17, going to Saigon to find his mother, then trying to escape to America with his much younger half brother, Tam (Dang Quoc Thinh Tran), in 1990. The film lingers on the rigors of the voyage: the sampan, the Malaysian detention camps, the illegal refugee ship, and the underground economy with near slavery in New York City. It finally opens up when Binh leaves New York for Houston to find his father.

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