Daughter from Danang

Gail Dolgin, Vicente Franco
80 Min. | 35 mm, OmeU
Q&A with: Gail Dolgin, Vicente Franco

Born to a Viet­namese mother and an Amer­i­can ser­vice­man, seven-year-old Hiep was part of “Oper­a­tion Babylift”, a mil­i­tary oper­a­tion to relo­cate Viet­namese chil­dren to the United States for adop­tion. Her mother feared for Hiep’s safety if she were to remain in Viet­nam and agreed to send her to the States. Hiep (renamed Heidi) was adopt­ed by a single mother in the small town of Pulas­ki Ten­nessee, where she worked hard to assim­i­late into Amer­i­can cul­ture. As a young adult, her rela­tion­ship with her adop­tive mother dete­ri­o­rat­ed, and she com­menced a cross-con­ti­nent search for her birth mother. Through a for­tu­nate coin­ci­dence she found a link to her mother and the two began a cor­re­spon­dence. She learned that her mother was still living in Danang with her half-sib­lings and extend­ed family. Heidi decides to make the jour­ney to her native home­land to meet her family and soon real­izes just how deep their cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences run. The tears when they meet signal the first of a mul­ti­tude of emo­tions their long waited reunion will bring. DAUGHTER FROM DANANG is a moving and stark reminder that the casu­al­ties of war reach much fur­ther than we imag­ine.