Daily News header

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) Film Review

By     get stories by email

Post Vietnam Documentary Recounts Laotians' Attempt to Assimilate in America


Few people knew during the Vietnam War that the CIA was simultaneously financing and backing a puppet government in nearby Laos. In order to eradicate pockets of Viet Cong in the country, the previously-neutral nation proceeded to allow the U.S. to drop more bombs inside Laos than had been used in WWI and WWII combined.

Among the traitors selling out his homeland was the father of Thavisouk Phrasavath, a military man whose job involved directing B-52s on their missions. However, following the fall of Saigon, the GIs high-tailed it out of Southeast Asia, leaving the local collaborators holding the bag.

After

After Thavisouk's father was arrested and imprisoned, most of the family emigrated to America including him, his mother and seven of his siblings. When they were brought directly to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, they actually panicked, fearing that they had somehow been mistakenly relocated to Africa since so many of their new neighbors were black. But they adjusted to life in their new environment, despite having to share a two-bedroom apartment with eight strangers from Cambodia and Vietnam.

Their whole challenging ordeal is recounted in The Betrayal, a documentary that's difficult to stomach on a lot of levels. For, not only did these lost souls suffer the loss of their beloved patriarch, which led to the crumbling of the family structure, but they had to deal with the cultural shock of the melting pot to deal with, too. And there was no turning back, because they couldn't return to Laos because of Papa P's having collaborated with the enemy.

One of those overcoming the odds tales which you could easily see adapted into a touching feelgood saga, if stripped of its sorrowful and sobering elements. No such luck, here, as this warts and all expose' is designed to leave you outraged about the way America treats naive allies and about the unresolved, ugly fallout of the Vietnam conflict.

Excellent (4 stars)
Unrated
In English and Laotian with subtitles.
Running time: 96 minutes
Studio: The Cinema Guild

To see a trailer for The Betrayal,

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

For movies opening November 21, 2014, here are the must-see movies of the week, including The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1
On TV, Jeffrey Wright appears on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, as Dr. Valentin Narcisse, Doctor of Divinity, student of culture and the man who runs Harlem.
Dumb and Dumber To sees the terminally-inane antics of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), gullible dimwits with a penchant for playing and being the butt of practical jokes.
On TV, Kalpen Suresh Modi is Dr. Lawrence Kutner, on the critically-acclaimed series House. He appeared on 24, and guest-starred in Law & Order: SVU.
For the movie lovers out there who want to start the week in a 'relaxing mode' and stress-free evening, here are the top DVD releases of the week:
Nate Parker has been busy. He appeared in the action thriller Non-Stop, with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Last year, he starred in Ain't Them Bodies Saints, with Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site