Witnesses to a Secret War

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Director: DEBORAH DICKSON
SPECIAL PREVIEW • DIRECTOR, CAMERAMAN, LOCAL CAST PRESENT

Witnesses to a Secret War tells the history of America’s clandestine war in Laos through the stories of the Hmong soldiers who fought alongside the Central Intelligence Agency and were forced to flee when the war was lost to the Communists in 1975.

This is the epic story of the Hmong people – who against all odds, survived a collision between personal history and the history of American politics in Southeast Asia. As the Cold War was being played out in SE Asia, the US recruited Hmong tribesmen to fi ght the Communist Pathet Lao forces in North Vietnam. By wartime’s end, the Hmong, abandoned by the CIA, had to fend for themselves, fl eeing to refugee camps in Thailand. More than 200,000 Hmong made their way to the US. Finally, in 2003, the US offered to resettle families still languishing there. As kids in St. Paul, MN artist Cy Thao (Minnesota State Senator) and refugee advocate KaYing Yang were among them. While Cy and KaYing look back, trying to understand the past, Witnesses to a Secret War follows the St. Paul Xiong family who are only now, 30 years later, leaving refugee life to make a new start in Minnesota.

* See other Hmong film, The Betrayal (Nerakhoon).

USA • 2008 • 57 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: DEBORAH DICKSON

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