Director: ELLEN KURAS & THAVISOUK PHRASAVATH
DIRECTOR PRESENT SAT. ONLY!
Celebrated cinematographer Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Summer of Sam) makes her directorial debut with this powerful documentary, a nominee for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The Betrayal is a 20-year journey through the life of Kuras’ co-director and longtime friend Thavisouk Phrasavath.
Forced to flee political persecution in his native Laos after the Communist Pathet Lao takeover during the Vietnam War, Phrasavath swam the Mekong to Thailand, eventually relocated with his family from refugee camps to New York City where a different survival awaited him. The Betrayal employs two decades’ worth of intimate footage and historical documentation to create a portrait of a family caught between two cultures in very different kinds of turmoil. Recruited by the CIA to fight North Vietnamese, Phrasavath’s father perished while thousands of other Hmong/Laotian guerrilla fighters faced similar fates until sold down the river as the CIA abandoned them in the jungles. From the Thailand camps many ended up in Minnesota. “Resolutely gripping … Kuras brings an affecting personal dimension to a sprawling sociopolitical narrative, intimately detailing how the agendas designed to advance the interests of nations can destroy individual lives.” — Variety
USA • 2008 • 87 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: ELLEN KURAS, THAVISOUK PHRASAVATH