August 19, 2007
Written by C.N.
As another interesting example of my recent focus on new forms of assimilation, in which Asian Americans increasingly combine elements of mainstream American society with their traditional ethnic culture in an transnational and globalized context, New American Media has an article about a new movie that includes this theme and connects Vietnamese with Vietnamese Americans:
In the movie, Cuong (Johnny Nguyen), a French-educated Vietnamese seduces Thuy (Van Ngo), the French fighting daughter of a famous rebellion leader, and follows her back to her father’s village hideout in order to arrest him. Not far behind them is the evil Sy (Dustin Nguyen – 21 Jump Street, V.I.P.), a mixed race Vietnamese-French attack dog with powerful martial art skills and a small army — all to make sure that Cuong obeys his orders.
What ensues is Cuong’s internal conflict and a series of dazzling Vietnamese-style martial arts fights. . . . The Rebel is a breakthrough because it’s the first martial arts movie of its kind made in Vietnam, and it manages to find a common ground for an otherwise politically diverse population. . .
It was why both in Vietnam and in Little Saigon in Orange County, where the largest and most influential population of Vietnamese living abroad resides, and where protest against the Vietnamese government is as regular as clockwork, the responses to the movie were equally enthusiastic. . . .
But international cooperation has paved the way for a series of important cooperative film projects, providing much-needed foreign capital and expertise to the Vietnamese film industry. Now with local talents emerging and Vietnamese Americans like Johnny Nguyen, Tony Bui, Dustin Nguyen, and Ham Tran, all with Hollywood experiences, poised to make movies in Vietnam, the country suddenly has a bona fide film industry.
I hope that The Rebel will be showing in my neck of the woods, otherwise I’ll have to wait for it to come out on DVD, just like I’m waiting for Journey from the Fall to come out on DVD. From what it sounds like, both movies will be worth the wait.
Until then, kudos to everyone involved and keep up the good work.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "New Movie Connects Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/08/new-movie-connects-vietnamese-and-vietnamese-americans/> ().
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