drat fink

View current page
...more recent posts

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2003

danang, tennessee

just watched Daughter From Denang on pbs. kind of a gut wrenching story of a girl who was one of the many mixed race children born in vietnam during the war. her mother like many other poor women sent her off at age seven to america to be adopted mostly out of fear resulting from the childs mixed parentage. she was raised in the heart of dixie by a single mother who cared for her but was stern and emotionally distant. in her late twenties she successfully tracks down her real mother and ventures to vietnam for a reunion. unfortunately she is not emotionally or intellectually prepared for the visit and in the end rejects the family she had been seeking. she wanted the picture postcard memories of family without the burden. what struck me was despite their (the vietnamese familys) impoverished circumstances and their lack of schooling, they were so much more mature in their emotions and their relationships with others. meanwhile she had some sort of college degree and a family of her own but remained childish in her rapport and demeanor. im the last person that should judge anyone for shirking familial responsibilities and im sure the experience was overwhelming in many many ways, but it still seemed tragic that she wasnt able to see much beyond the blinkered ways of her adopted culture to embrace her unrealized self. instead she shuts the whole experience out of her mind (at least for the two years after the event covered in the movie) as it becomes a fuzzy memory itself, just a stack of pictures for her children to look at with wonder. but the filmmakers held out a hope that she still has the chance to grow and understand how to cope with her feelings and embrace what it means to be a part of her disrupted past.