The true story of the Vietnamese refugees who fled their land after the fall of Saigon -- and those who were forced to stay behind -- sets the stage for this powerful drama from independent filmmaker Ham Tran. On April 30, 1975, American… More The true story of the Vietnamese refugees who fled their land after the fall of Saigon -- and those who were forced to stay behind -- sets the stage for this powerful drama from independent filmmaker Ham Tran. On April 30, 1975, American troops finally left Vietnam as they withdrew from the war they decided could not be won. As Saigon fell and the Communist North Vietnamese forces took full control of the nation, many people who fought the Communists alongside the South Vietnamese and the Americans found themselves in great danger. One such man was Long (Long Nguyen), who faced imprisonment in a "re-education camp" for his crimes against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Before he was sent away, Long urged his wife, Mai (Diem Lien), to take their family to America by any means possible, and with Long incarcerated with no hope of escape, Mai, her mother and her young son, Lai (Preston Tri Nguyen), escape Saigon aboard a tiny fishing boat to make the dangerous journey to the United States. Six years later, Mai and her family have settled in Northern California, where they've begun a new life -- one that an older Lai (now played by Nguyen Thai Nguyen) finds profoundly difficult to accept. Journey From the Fall (aka Vuot Song) was written and directed by Ham Tran, who was born in Saigon and emigrated to America with his family in 1982; this was his first feature after a handful of award-wining shorts.
Consensus: Ham Tran's ambitious film proves to be extremely powerful due to stunning photography and passionate performances.