Lead Producer, Director, and Writer- Safoi Babana-Hampton
An MSU production, this documentary was produced in partnership with Humanities Without Walls (HWW) Consortium, based at Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Set in the United States, France and Laos, the documentary tells the story of Liachoua Lee, a Hmong-American from Rochester Hills, Michigan, who revisits his past as a former refugee and son of Hmong veterans of the French Indochina War (1946-1954) and of the American Secret War in Laos (1961-1975). Lee’s story begins in Detroit, Michigan, then takes him to France, a place where he and his family sought asylum before immigrating to America, and ends in an emotional return to the homeland Laos for the first time in 40 years. By featuring Lee’s journey of remembrance of his refugee history and of the emotional scars left by the war, the film seeks to explore the way the process of remembering legacies of global past conflicts informs and enables present efforts to build more reconciled, just and stronger communities and shape Hmong diasporic identities in the United States and France.