Daughter From Danang [2002]

Genre: Documentary, War
A mix of epic history and intimate family portrait, Daughter from Danang follows the reunion of a Tennessee woman, Heidi, with her Vietnamese mother and siblings after 22 years. Shipped to the U.S. in the waning days of the Vietnam war, Heidi--formerly Mai Thi Hiep--was the daughter of a white American soldier and a Danang woman abandoned by her Viet Cong husband. Fearing reprisals against Amerasian children, Hiep's mother, despite unbearable pain, gave Hiep to an adoption agency. Raised by an abusive woman in Pulaski (birthplace of the KKK), Hiep/Heidi kept her full heritage secret. This episode of PBS's American Experience follows Heidi's journey home: There is sorrow, joy, and relief, of course, but also a slow-brewing uneasiness as cultures collide. As raw expectations of her impoverished, Third World family begin to grate on Heidi, the burden of carrying two national destinies becomes comically and tragically oversized in the poor woman's shoes. --Tom Keogh

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