Kelly Loves Tony | Chicago Reader

Kelly Loves Tony

Bay Area documentarian Spencer Nakasako (A.K.A. Don Bonus) assembled this hour-long video (1998) after giving a young Laotian refugee couple a camcorder and asking them to record their daily life for 18 months following the girl's high school graduation. The two adolescents slowly grow apart, each using the camera as a handy diary, yet their problems are almost trite, the sort of dirty laundry aired on tabloid talk shows—he's knocked her up, she's moved in with his large family but chafes at her low status among them. The difference is that Kelly and Tony come from a tribe whose elders still cling to old customs and values. Some of the footage is touching, but the video maker's motivation is more interesting than these clueless teens.

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