Daughter From Danang | Chicago Reader

Daughter From Danang

83 minutes 2002

In 1975, Operation Babylift put about 2,000 Amerasian children up for adoption in the U.S.; this 2001 documentary by Gail Dolgin and Vincente Franco follows one of them, Heidi, as she returns to Danang 22 years later to visit her mother and family. Overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of rural Vietnam, she eagerly seeks the embrace of her birth mother, who showers her with the sort of attention never provided by her single adoptive mother in Tennessee. Dolgin and Franco record the tearful airport reunion, the warm family dinners, and the misty-eyed recollections, but to their credit they keep the cameras rolling after Heidi's Vietnamese family asks her for financial support and she begins to seem naive, petulant, and spoiled. The unexpected conflict adds a bitter taste to this poignant if familiar story of a young person suspended between two cultures.

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