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The Journey of Vaan Nguyen

"An intensely poignant observational documentary"
The New York Times
A poignant portrait of the kind of cultural displacement only history can create... first rate doc
A highly emotional, highly relatable tale of displacement and maturation
SFIAAFF Capsule Film Review

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    The three Darwish brothers, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 50’s, established the family factory “Fantasia” - a menorah factory. For a time period of 50 years they designed, manufactured and shipped Chanukah menorahs for the entire world and now…the family factory is about to close down. From this point in time, the director, who is the son of the youngest brother, is starting to embark on a journey that unravels the history of his family, going back 100 years. The story weaves memories from Iraq and Israel - two homelands, two languages, two identities, two enemies. The director is trying to reconstruct the narrative of his family, a narrative that has disappeared in the silence and shame that followed the family move to Israel. The father’s silence is finally broken by the director’s relentless inquiries, which reveal a story about 5 lost years of his father in the Iraqi prison. It is a diary film shot over a period of 10 years.

Documentary   |   Vietnam, Israel   |   2006   

84 min

Hebrew, Vietnamese   

Subtitles: Hebrew, English

The Vietnam War was a traumatic war that has shaken the consciousness of the west. Millions of Vietnamese people fled from their homes to the cruel sea to save their lives. The “boat people” who survived the journey and were given asylum in new lands, can now recount their ordeal. Decades later, some still have the urge to go back home but they first have to confront issues of identity. Their children speak a new language, and are raised with different cultural sets of codes. In their homeland they have lost their rights as citizens. Their return creates numerous moral and humanistic predicaments as well. Can they demand possession of their homes and land which were confiscated by the state? What is their right of return? And if they have such a right, will the settlers on their land become homeless?

Director: Duki Dror   

Producer: Yael Shavit   

Script: Violette Shitzer   

Cinematography: Philippe Bellaiche   

Editor: Dany Itzhaki   

Original Score: Haim Frank Ilfman

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