December titles come from CAAM’s own documentaries. CAAM is thrilled to present two feature-length films, which were both funded in part by CAAM with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
To watch the films, go to Comcast On Demand: multicultural/Asia/Cinema Asian America/New Releases. You can also search for the films on On Demand by their titles.
Operation Popcorn | Dir. David Grabias
When Hmong businessman Locha Thao rises to prominence in his community, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Colin Powell, he decides to answer a call-to-action to help the Hmong people fighting for their lives against violent attacks from the communist Lao government. In an attempt to make his community proud and become a hero, Locha’s mission becomes intertwined with a screenwriter, a former US colonel and an arms dealer in an intriguing real-life story that you have to see to believe.
From veteran CAAM-funded filmmaker David Grabias (SENTENCED HOME), OPERATION POPCORN is a gripping story that raises awareness about a community struggling with the horrific events that occurred during the Vietnam War, in which more than 30,000 Hmong died fighting with the US in Laos against communists. Once the US left the area, and the Hmong people to fend for themselves, the result was a continuous violent attack on the Hmong. Told through interviews with key players and amazing access to surveillance footage, OPERATION POPCORN is a must-see documentary at this year’s festival.
Daze of Justice | Dir. Michael Siv
What happens when a 1.5-generation Cambodian American seeks answers about the Khmer Rouge — the ugly reign of terror under Pol Pot’s brutal regime? Mike Siv, a former documentary subject in Spencer Nakasako’s film REFUGEE, finds himself behind the camera on a journey from California to the Khmer Rouge Trials.
Siv is a trusty narrator as he follows a feisty professor who corrals survivors to travel to Cambodia to testify in the trials. Siv is himself a survivor, having fled Cambodia at age 3.
The silence over the decades — Siv says that his own mother, a survivor, never talks about the past — is broken by the brave Cambodian American survivors. Yet, the true hero of the film is an unlikely one. The documentary takes an unexpected turn when the son of a high-profile convicted war criminal, who oversaw the killings of thousands, joins the Cambodian American refugees on a journey to seek justice.
With support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this film is co-produced with CAAM.