2016 | Bụi Đời: Dust of Life
Set during the 1970s, Bụi Đời: Dust of Life follows the life of Đỗ Thanh Mai as an Amerasian or con lai in post-war Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, relationships between American soldiers and Vietnamese mothers resulted in a generation of Amerasians. Labeled by their roots in Vietnam and America, these con lai or children of mixed descent were shunned by the Vietnamese community. Oftentimes referred to as “bụi đời” or “dust of life”, the con lai, if not abandoned by their mothers or taken to orphanages, faced racial, political, and social discrimination.
When the Homecoming Act of 1987 was established, many Amerasians and their immediate families were given the opportunities to travel to America and reunite with their fathers. As an aspect of the Vietnam War not commonly discussed, this story portrays the multi-faceted hardships that many con lai faced in Vietnam during a time of anti-American sentiment. Bụi Đời: Dust of Life explores the complexities of an Amerasian protagonist as she attempts to fit into a culturally homogeneous society and embark on a journey to find her father and ultimately, herself.