Recommended by a large amount of my friends and to show support for my boat people, aka FOB, so I rented the movie. The Journey from The Fall or Vuot Song tells the story about how Southern Vietnamese suffered after the fall of Saigon in ’75. The movie focuses on how people escaped the country via fishing boat and the life in re-education camp, just a fancy name for prison.
- Executive summary: I would recommend the movie to others but don’t expect too much. The movie was well made by a young director, therefore the acting and filming style are much better than other Viet movies. It’s definitely worth 2 hours of watching.
- In depth review:
- The story: anything that trashes VC is a hot selling ticket item abroad and so is this movie. To me the movie seems to open up 30+ years old wound and rub salt onto it. The younger generation is too young to know the truth and the older generation is still bitter about it. If you want to educate yourself about boat people, watch a documentary Bolinao 52 by Duc Nguyen. It is probably more authentic and less bias (I just happen to be in love with documentary). As far as learning how Viet people were coping with the new culture in the U.S., I would recommend Vietnamese Diaspora Project by Brian Doan. Other than that, I think the story line was well thought out and presented.
- The making: the actings are much more natural with the exception that people tend to scream during their emotions are at peak (for example the scene where Long is in the jungle holding the knife during his escape on an old woman) which makes it very hard to understand what are they saying, or maybe my Vietnamese sucks. I like the idea how they actually used real people from the re-education camp in the movie and the main character (Long Nguyen) went on diet to make him looks very skinny. I like the scene with all the fresh tropical fruits…those rambutans look yummy. The make up and costume designs are really up to the standard.
Well, people always complain how brutal and inhumanity the VC was, which I totally agree. My family was finally stripped and sent to “the land of new hope”, and my dad was in re-education camp like many others. Let me, however, remind you the chilling image of Nguyen Ngoc Long executed a prisoner taken by Eddie Adams on the street in 1968 during Tet Offensive with his hand gun. What about the My Lai massacre in 1968, where 300-500 civilians were raped and sexually molested before being murdered by the US military? Majority of the victims were women and children. Does the image of Kim Phuc taken by Nick Ut running naked cause by napalm mean anything to you? For any given war in the history, there are cruelty, inhumanity and casualties. To some Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, Uncle Ho and etc… are great leaders but not to others. It’s just a matter of which side you are with. Kids in Vietnam are learning about US and Southern Gov’t crimes and vice versa for abroad kids. The circle of hate is keep on rolling. It’s definitely time to look past the old dusty chapter and starting a new one. I think people should redirect their effort to make the country better than what it is right now. It’s really sad to hear it from my own Viet friend that Vietnam is a big whore house. Just like the U.S gov’t, Viet government needs fresh and modernize ideas.