Synopsis by Nathan Southern
For decades, Hoiami Nguyen, his wife and his daughter Vaan have suffered as ethnic anomalies in their present homeland. As Vietnamese refugees who fled Saigon after its 1975 fall and settled in Israel (learning Hebrew and using it to conduct daily life), the Nguyens continue to carry the weight of stigmatization. So begins Duki Dror's intensely poignant observational documentary The Journey of Vaan Nguyen. Memories of the old country and family ancestors flood Hoiami's mind, and he determines to hearken back, family in tow, to find and reclaim his parents' farm; Vaan's desire to start over in Vietnam waxes equally strong. When the Nguyens arrive on Vietnamese soil, however, they discover that the farmlands have been given new ownership by government authorities, and the question lingers of which steps to take next.