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Marilee J. Layman

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11:23 am: The Beautiful Country
This is a movie that really grabs your heart. In Vietnam, we meet Binh whose father was a GI and disappeared one day, and whose mother left for Saigon. He lives with cousins and the aunt may marry and there won't be room for him. He heads off to Saigon and finds his mother. She's had another child, Tam, and works at the home of very rich people. She asks them to hire Binh, but the rich woman misinterprets something and he has to run. His mother gives him dollars and Tam and points him at a refugee ship.

The ship's engine expires and they wash ashore into a refugee camp in Malaysia where nobody ever gets out unless they have a lot of money or whore. Binh meets a beautiful Chinese woman, Ling, who is a whore. Unexpectedly, one of the men goes crazy and is shot. The refugees get over the fence and out of the camp. Ling has enough money for Binh and Tam to get on a ship that will go to America, and Binh insists she come, too.

When they reach the giant rusting freighter, Binh gives the money and agrees that all of them, even Tam, will do jobs in the US to work off the rest of the money. The hold is terrible and a man has decided to run it his way. He's hoarding food and water, and when one of the water tanks breaks and the rice turns rotten (Tam pulls a worm out of his bowl), people start to starve. Binh makes him share, but it's too late for Tam.

When they arrive at New York City, they start working in Chinatown. Ling is still a whore; Binh has many jobs. One day he finds out that he doesn't have to hide because his father's an American, and he heads for Texas. He hitchhikes until he reaches a ranch where he finds out where his father never came back to Vietnam.



[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
The depressing thing is that the story doesn't seem all that unusual.

("came back to Vietnam," or back from it?)
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, which I suspect is why a Swedish guy made it. Back to it -- he's in the US and never went back, but I should have said "where he finds out why," too.

I'm still having trouble with words, and sometimes I think I'm typing a word and when I proof, it's a completely different word. And sometimes when I proof, I never get it right.
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