Death of a Shaman

| | Closed Captioning

Director: Richard Hall

Producer/Writer: Fahm Fong Saeyang

Ethnicities: ,

Subjects: , ,

As her father lay dying in a hospital bed, Fahm Saeyang and her siblings gathered around to watch over him. The family’s tradition on many occasions, both big and small, was to record everything on video, and this was no exception. Her father’s final words were about walking through the mountains in his home country of Thailand. After his death, Fahm grieved for the unfulfilled promise of her father’s life.

A shaman in Thailand, he had been respected and treasured by the Mien villagers for his knowledge and wisdom. But like many of the Mien people who found themselves in the path of the Viet Nam War, Yoon Fong Saeyang, his wife and young children had been driven out of their mountain village, then picked up and transplanted to the plains of Kansas to live with an Amish family. From the time of his arrival in America, he lost his way, falling victim to poverty, violence and a drug addiction that destroyed his family. What kind of man was he really? And how could his daughter come to understand him?

Fahm responded to her father’s unsettled life and death by taking a reverse journey to Thailand to examine the heartbreaking path he took from respectability to hopelessness – and from South-east Asia to America – in a heartfelt personal mission to understand his tragic story.

Pricing - College / University / Institution