International Studies & Programs

Film Collection

The Asian Studies Center has an extensive collection of fiction and non‑fiction films available to borrow. Visit the center or contact us for more information.

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Travleing Circus, The Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 074min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Vietnamese with English subtitles

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Description: During the 1930s, the French clung to power in Vietnam--in collaboration with wealthy local officials and landlords. Resistance grew, however, and even middle-class townspeople began to fight underground to free the country from foreign rule. This is the setting for the classic Vietnamese novel, Song of the South, by Doan Gioi, now an 11-part mini-series on DVD. After being expelled from his French school and witnessing the murder of his mother, 12-year-old An sets out in search of his father, who left the family earlier to join the resistance in the Mekong Delta region. With its colorful characters, and rich mix of humor and drama, Song of the South has often been compared to the works of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.During the 1930s, the French clung to power in Vietnam--in collaboration with wealthy local officials and landlords. Resistance grew, however, and even middle-class townspeople began to fight underground to free the country from foreign rule. This is the setting for the classic Vietnamese novel, Song of the South, by Doan Gioi, now an 11-part mini-series on DVD. After being expelled from his French school and witnessing the murder of his mother, 12-year-old An sets out in search of his father, who left the family earlier to join the resistance in the Mekong Delta region. With its colorful characters, and rich mix of humor and drama, Song of the South has often been compared to the works of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.During the 1930s, the French clung to power in Vietnam--in collaboration with wealthy local officials and landlords. Resistance grew, however, and even middle-class townspeople began to fight underground to free the country from foreign rule. This is the setting for the classic Vietnamese novel, Song of the South, by Doan Gioi, now an 11-part mini-series on DVD. After being expelled from his French school and witnessing the murder of his mother, 12-year-old An sets out in search of his father, who left the family earlier to join the resistance in the Mekong Delta region. With its colorful characters, and rich mix of humor and drama, Song of the South has often been compared to the works of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.

Vietnam: A Television History Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 660min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: A six year project from conception to completion, this 11 hour DVD collection carefully analyzes the costs and consequences of this controversial but intriguing Vietnam war.

Scent of Green Papaya, The Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 104min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Vietnamese with English subtitles

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Description: In this Vietnamese drama, a young peasant girl named Mui (Lu Man San) is hired to work for a well-to-do family in Saigon. Although the household's fortunes change for the worse, Mui stays with them as a servant and grows infatuated with one of their friends, the handsome Khuyen (Vuong Hoa Hoi). Years later, Mui (Tran Nu Yen-Khe) is employed by Khuyen, who has become a renowned pianist. Although Khuyen has a girlfriend, he gradually begins to realize his own strong connection with Mui.

Vertical Ray of the Sun, The Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 112min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Vietnamese with English subtitles

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Description: "The Vertical Ray of the Sun" is the story of three sisters who live close to each other in present-day Hanoi. On the anniversary of their mother's death, the sisters meet at Suong's café to pray, prepare the memorial meal and greet their relatives. Throughout the day, they are seen to have an intense and playful complicity, sharing laughter and seeking one another's advice on every subject, even the most intimate. Yet, each one of them has a secret.

Beautiful Country, The Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 125min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: English

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Description: A Vietnamese youth (Damien Nguyen) of mixed race undertakes an arduous journey to the United States to find his American father (Nick Nolte).

Cyclo Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 123min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Vietnamese with English Subtitles

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Description: An 18-year-old orphan who is only known by his profession of a cyclo (pedal-taxi) driver, struggles on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. When his vehicle is stolen and he is forced to pay it back he takes jobs from a local crime boss. He doesn't know that the crime boss is also his sister's pimp.

Green Berets, The Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 142min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: English

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Description: A cynical reporter (David Janssen) who is opposed to the Vietnam War is sent to cover the conflict and assigned to tag along with a group of Green Berets. Led by the tough-as-nails Col. Mike Kirby (John Wayne), the team is given a top-secret mission to sneak behind enemy lines and kidnap an important Viet Cong commander. Along the way, the reporter learns to respect why America is involved in the war and helps to save the life of a war orphan whose life has been destroyed by the conflict.

Hearts & Minds Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 112min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: In this final film of his Vietnam trilogy, Oliver Stone turns his cameras away from the experience of the American combatants to focus on the devastating effect of the war on the Vietnamese people. Starring Hiep Thi Le as Phung Le Ly, it recounts the epic journey of her life, which began in an idyllic village in Central Vietnam living as her people had lived for thousands of years. When the war broke out, she was plunged into a maelstom, trapped between the forces of North and South. Separated from her family, Le Ly was imprisoned by the South Vietnamese, who used an assortment of tactics on her, including electric shock treatment, and upon release from prison, she was raped by a vicious gang of Viet Cong. After escaping to Saigon, she becomes pregnant by an employer and is fired. She turns to prostitution to survive, until Steve Butler, an American Special Forces officer, impulsively asks her to marry him and return to America with him. She agrees to marry him and moves with him to San Diego but finds that, after a life in the military, he has a more difficult time adapting to life in the U.S. than she does. HEAVEN AND EARTH is a profoundly moving saga of resiliency in the face of unspeakable suffering.

Precious Cargo Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 100min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: When the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, one of their last acts was the dramatic transport of 2,800 South Vietnamese children into American homes almost ovenight. This film reveals the complex story of Operation Babylift. For the military it seemed like a final act of redemption, to the Hanoi government, a propaganda ploy and for most Americans, a final compassionate gesture in a war they wanted to forget. Those least able to forget are the babies - now in their mid-20's to early 30's. A small group of them met each other for the first time, bonded, and journeyed back to Vietnam. Raised in relative affluence, they confront the overcrowding and poverty as well as the beauty and culture of their homeland, wrestling with their identity and complex feeling of loss adn gratitude, connection and detachment. Seeking clues to their past, none blame their mothers for giving them up for adoption, understanding how dangerous Vietnam was at the time. The program includes an exclusive interview with the pilot and chief flight nurse of the first flight which tragically crashed shortly after takeoff, casting a shadow over Operation Babylift. Also featured are the pioneering adoptive parents of the 1970's who embraced these biracial and sometimes handicapped children as their own. They began a movement that has grown to redefine the American family.When the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, one of their last acts was the dramatic transport of 2,800 South Vietnamese children into American homes almost ovenight. This film reveals the complex story of Operation Babylift. For the military it seemed like a final act of redemption, to the Hanoi government, a propaganda ploy and for most Americans, a final compassionate gesture in a war they wanted to forget. Those least able to forget are the babies - now in their mid-20's to early 30's. A small group of them met each other for the first time, bonded, and journeyed back to Vietnam. Raised in relative affluence, they confront the overcrowding and poverty as well as the beauty and culture of their homeland, wrestling with their identity and complex feeling of loss adn gratitude, connection and detachment. Seeking clues to their past, none blame their mothers for giving them up for adoption, understanding how dangerous Vietnam was at the time. The program includes an exclusive interview with the pilot and chief flight nurse of the first flight which tragically crashed shortly after takeoff, casting a shadow over Operation Babylift. Also featured are the pioneering adoptive parents of the 1970's who embraced these biracial and sometimes handicapped children as their own. They began a movement that has grown to redefine the American family.When the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, one of their last acts was the dramatic transport of 2,800 South Vietnamese children into American homes almost ovenight. This film reveals the complex story of Operation Babylift. For the military it seemed like a final act of redemption, to the Hanoi government, a propaganda ploy and for most Americans, a final compassionate gesture in a war they wanted to forget. Those least able to forget are the babies - now in their mid-20's to early 30's. A small group of them met each other for the first time, bonded, and journeyed back to Vietnam. Raised in relative affluence, they confront the overcrowding and poverty as well as the beauty and culture of their homeland, wrestling with their identity and complex feeling of loss adn gratitude, connection and detachment. Seeking clues to their past, none blame their mothers for giving them up for adoption, understanding how dangerous Vietnam was at the time. The program includes an exclusive interview with the pilot and chief flight nurse of the first flight which tragically crashed shortly after takeoff, casting a shadow over Operation Babylift. Also featured are the pioneering adoptive parents of the 1970's who embraced these biracial and sometimes handicapped children as their own. They began a movement that has grown to redefine the American family.

Regret to Inform Country/Region of Focus: Vietnam
Length: 075min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language:

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Description: Venturing to Vietnam twenty years after her husband was killed in a mortar attack, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn finds a mesmerizing landscape filled with the psychic remnants of war. Getting beyond the physical and emotional devistation, she talks to those on all sides of the struggle, discovering a common bond in loss, and ultimately, understanding. Filled with extraordinary archival footage, breathtaking visions of modern day Vietnam, and heart-renching stories from American and Vietnamese women who lost their husbands to war, Regret to Inform takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey that begins with the phrase, "We regret to inform you..."Venturing to Vietnam twenty years after her husband was killed in a mortar attack, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn finds a mesmerizing landscape filled with the psychic remnants of war. Getting beyond the physical and emotional devistation, she talks to those on all sides of the struggle, discovering a common bond in loss, and ultimately, understanding. Filled with extraordinary archival footage, breathtaking visions of modern day Vietnam, and heart-renching stories from American and Vietnamese women who lost their husbands to war, Regret to Inform takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey that begins with the phrase, "We regret to inform you..."Venturing to Vietnam twenty years after her husband was killed in a mortar attack, filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn finds a mesmerizing landscape filled with the psychic remnants of war. Getting beyond the physical and emotional devistation, she talks to those on all sides of the struggle, discovering a common bond in loss, and ultimately, understanding. Filled with extraordinary archival footage, breathtaking visions of modern day Vietnam, and heart-renching stories from American and Vietnamese women who lost their husbands to war, Regret to Inform takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey that begins with the phrase, "We regret to inform you..."