From Hollywood to Hanoi

Director: Tiana Thi Thanh Nga
Screenwriters: Tiana Thi Thanh Nga

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


"I went back to find something I'd been missing," says Tiana. "Most of my knowledge about Vietnam came from American films and television, and I wanted to know more about my culture and history. I wanted to know who I was." So in 1988, against the wishes of her family, and with no intention of making a documentary, she returned to her homeland. Once in Vietnam, she recognized a need to document her journey home. Not just for herself, she says, but for the millions of others who fled their homeland. "My personal story has become the story of Vietnam," reflects Tiana. "It's very symbolic, since there are so many people who left. I feel like I made this trip on behalf of all of us.”

From Hollywood to Hanoi recounts Tiana's experience as she rediscovers her Vietnamese roots, culture and identity. From 19BB to 1992, she made twelve trips, compiling seventy-five hours of film as she traveled across the country chronicling her reintroduction to Vietnam and its people. She visited towns, cities and battlefields across Vietnam and interviewed a number of prominent current and former officials. She was also reunited with members of her family she had not seen in twenty years, some of whom were on different sides of the north-south conflict "was welcomed as the daughter returning home," says Tiana, not just about her family, but about everywhere she went in Vietnam. "l discovered I was very Vietnamese," she says, noting, "I'm different when I'm in Vietnam: She adds, however, that not everyone is ready to return. The American Vietnamese community is opposed to returning, and many overseas Vietnamese fear reprisals from within the Vietnamese community should they revisit Communist Vietnam. "It will take another generation for the healing to complete," says Tiana, but she hopes that her film will help accelerate the process_ "I want to be part of the healing”

Friday Jan 22 10:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I

Sunday Jan 24 4:00 pin
Egyptian Theatre

Wednesday Jan 27 4:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I

Friday Jan 29 10:30 am
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Paul Spelman, 1992 Telluride Film Festival

Screening Details

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