REFUGEE

War & Cambodia

Talkback

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This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.

5/13/04
My thing is that im happy for you to go back and see your family im going back to Thailand to see my sister well i dont have much to say bye talk back soon

5/13/04
loun
i haven't seen the movie but my sister said it was go0od, i hope you show it again

5/13/04
Hilary Shames
Ambridge, PA
I can relate to Mike's story. My biological father doesn't even admit I exist. He got my birth-mother pregnant at 15 and got another woman pregnant at the same time. He married the second woman, and offered to punch my birth-mother in the stomach so she would lose the baby (me). I have four half sisters and 2 half brothers. It hurts, sometimes paralysis when I think about it, yet I go on for my own children (whom I am also raising on my own), I want to do better. Thanks Mike, you have really touched my life.

I am also an artist, I made a work about it called "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie", the work will be on exhibit here in Pgh. this summer... the art helps me to make sense of it all, especially when people really let you down.

Thanks for sharing your history,
Hilary

5/13/04
Nivia C. Boyd
Houston, Tx
Mike I can understand where you are coming from I grew up without a dad and when I had the chance to finally find my dad, I was 22 and he was shocked because he thought that my mom did away with me..Then 'til this day he still is trying to deni me as his daughter...write me back and tell me what should I do about this situation...I was cryin when I seen the film...

5/12/04
Victor Chea
Aurora, Co
I was surprised to hear the Khmer language on the PBS channel when I was channel surfing. I happened to be at the part where Mike is talking to his father about what happened during the war and why Mike didn't have a father for 20 years. I didn't have to endure the hardship during the war because I was born in the states whereas my mother, my father and sister had to go through the pain of trying to escape to freedom from the Khmer Rouge. At the age of 13, I visted Cambodia to visit my uncle. Because Cambodia is a third world country, they aren't as fortunate as Americans to have things like running water or even clean facilities. It was hard knowing that so many people were suffering because of the war. I saw so many poor children and poor people all because of a war. It makes me realize that my life isn't as hard as I think it is. I'm just happy that I got to go through the experience of visiting my mother and father's homeland. It was a learning experience and I wish to go back one day and try to help those that are in need.

5/12/04
Vincent B. Un
Lowell, MA
The film is simple, but it is powerful. I think the children of war can related their story to this film. Good job!

5/12/04
j hughes
north hollywood ca
iwas very touched by this film and learning that a son worlds apart can come to terms with what his family had to go through for the lives of their families, and it being very hard for a father to not know the changes that came about with out him in their lives. i would like hear more about the lives of mike, paul and david, and if they've been back to cambodia since there trip ? this film opened my eyes to a new language and wanting to learn so i can talk to my sister in-law and friends in the native language i have many friends good friends who are from cambodia.

5/12/04
Texas
I am in love with the amount of determination and empathy each of those gentlemen had. I grew up without my father and only recently I sent him a letter with pictures of my 2 year old daughter, that he has never seen. He was never there for me or my younger brother. I remember visiting him once as a teen and he only asked about my three older brothers the whole time. There is definitely a generation gap as well. I remember him telling me I had to marry within my own race. I asked him "what if I find someone who is not hispanic and he treats me well?" He responded by saying he would rather me be abused by a hispanic husband than marry outside of my race. I never understood why he would be so hateful. He never sent us child support or even gifts on holidays, not even a phone call and we lived in the same town. Now we live 45 minutes away, and he still expects me to write him, visit him, send him pictures. He has never made the effort, or validated the pain I have felt all of my life. I remember times my mom could not afford food for us and yet he never offered help. I was surprised that he wrote me back and was not upset about me being a single mom. Instead, he told me to "take care of (our) mother becuase we only have one in the world (his mother/my grandmother) passed away a few months ago. I guess that was his way of saying he appreciated my mother taking care of us, but like Mike, I had no validation of my feelings. I could also relate to Paul, when he gave to his sister and her family. My mother has taught us "when you have it to give, give and God will give you more." I know it was hard for David to "give in" and visit his family, I understand the torment. I too questioned whether or not writing to my father would "help or hurt" me. I congratulate each of them, for taking that initial step and allowing me to share the journey.

5/12/04
TARA
Mike says: "Because I grew up without a dad, I had expectations of what I wanted my dad to be." Have you ever been reunited with a close friend or family member after a long period of separation? Did you have expectations of the person beforehand? If so, did they meet those expectations?

Yes. I grew up without a father. I was probably four years old when my dad left to be out in the world with ALCOHOL!

It was always hard to look at other girls with there father. I wished that my mom and dad were still together, but sometimes you have to sacarefice your love ones, so that you don't hurt them any longer. But in the in it was okay because he my dad didn't have to embrass me with his druckenness.

I was thirteen years old when I first see my dad. People use to always say that I looked like him. But when I seen him the day, he was so drunk that it made me sad. He didn't say how much he missed us. He just heard what I had to say " I love you" in tears....

Mike I so touched by your film. I am glad you went back to where you came from. I would have done that same because of the curiosity of how I would have been raised. Now that you visted where you really came from, you should start some kind of fund so that you can give it back. Your sister and there kids would be most proud of you. Your film really touched my heart. I was crying.

Love Tara

5/12/04
Arisak Simphoukham
I have just seen you independent Lens program , Independent Lens: Refugee, I would just like to let you guys know that these programs you are putting out is not only intersting but very motivating. I think it's great that programs like this are created because it allows the public to have more understanding for Asian Americans in the United States. I found this program very motivating because it made me question my own history. I am an immigrant myself who came to the U.S at the age of two. My family came from Laos and we lived in the Refugee camps in the Phillipines. I bring this up because I don't really know the history behind this. How did my family end up in the Phillipines? What is a refugee camp? How was it like living there? What was happening in Laos that caused so many families like mine to migrate? These are some of the questions that came up while watching you programs. I was wondering of you currecntly have programs similar to the one about the Cambodian guys that may explain a Laotian's life in the United States. Thank you! Independent Lens is GREAT! Keep up the good work!

5/12/04
Park Ridge, NJ
REFUGEE hit too close to home for me, and had me in tears at times. In 1969 I was four and living in my birthplace, Colombia. My father came home from an extended stay in Europe to discover my mom pregnant by another man. To punish her he effectively kidnapped me and my siblings, then 2 and 5, and fled to the US. My entire growing up the matter was taboo and never discussed, so we were left to create whatever scenario we saw fit to explain why we grew up motherless. Naturally, I assumed she didn't want or love us and my dad had altruistically brought us to start a new life in the States. It wasn't until I was married and my wife saw that I had real serious issues with women/communication/self-loathing that the issue of seeing my mom came up. My wife more or less singlehandedly arranged a reunification when we made plans to vacation in Colombia. It was a major episode in my life, full of painful lessons and realizations. Her story of how she frantically looked for us, once missing us by minutes, as my father made his escape, still makes me cry, as does the memory of her crying when it was time for me to return to New York. How are things now? My mom died of cancer a year and a half ago, my marriage fell apart, I am estranged from my young daughters, and I feel personally lost. I realize now that losing my mother was the single most defining act in my life, coloring and affecting me in almost every way, and I struggle daily in trying to learn how to deal with it.

5/12/04
Kevin McNeary
Portland, OR
Great life message regarding interpersonal relations and perspective i.e. mike's open mind lead to the realization he was unjustified in his expectations. Our American leaders could use some of this insight.

5/12/04
Rosa Vargas
Edinburg Texas
Mike jourey was so touching even tough he had many struggles he suceeded it was sad he had to leave his family but hopefully he will visit them soon.

5/12/04
San Antonio, Texas
I think Mike was too hard on his father. It was a time of war and genocide. Who needed the father's help more? The family going to America or the family that was going to stay and face Pol Pot?

5/12/04
Elizabeth
HoustonTX
Their journey was really touching. I cried so much at the end knowing that his brother was to be left alone again. Mike had no father, but his brother had no parents whatsoever. It was really touching. I thank everyone that had anything to do with this film. It exposes us all to the great pain and suffering imposed on many who were innocent. I hope we all have the courage to seek the answers that dwell inside of our hearts. Thanks guys!

5/12/04
Binghamton, NY
I am touched by the emotions that was displayed in this documentary. As a fellow asian living in the United States, I can relate to these three men as they made their journey back to their home country. It is good to see that there are people that cares outside of themselves, and wanting to know about their past to understand the future. I really appreciate this documentary and highly recommend it.

5/12/04
Los Angeles, CA
I was in tears watching the film. As Cambodians, we've grown up in silent sadness. Its been hard for Cambodians living here in America and for Cambodians in Cambodia as well. This makes the struggle even more meaningful and the triumphs much more sweeter. We are survivors and given another chance, so make the best of it and maintain the course. Big Ups to the guys in the film for sharing an intimate moment with the world.

5/12/04
anna
santa cruz, CA
i watched this film last night on pbs and couldn't even turn the channel. this fillm was even better than some movies out in the theater and this was real life. the last part of the film about his father and what he needed him to say in order to heal but how the father couldn't say sorry because it would be admitting he was wrong, was so... real. i would love to buy the video just to show my friends.

5/12/04
Charntelle Richardson
Dallas, Texas
I feel that the young men were searching for completeness, which in my opinon is found when we can bring the truth of ones past and present together within.

The advantage is peace of mind, accepting that which we cannot change for it would be a disadvantage not to do so.

5/12/04
Thao Le
Marietta, Georgia
I want to commend Mike, Paul, and David for documenting their experiences for others to view. The documentary was such a powerful experience for me about identifying and accepting the past. I was excited for once there was something I could relate to on television.

5/12/04
Lindy Sproul
Yukon, OK
This is a wonderful documentary. Although I caught it in the middle, I was taken immediately by its honesty and humanity. Very well done and touching.

Kudos to everyone involved. Thank you for giving us a snapshot of true life. This is "Reality TV" at its finest.

5/12/04
Eric Renaud
Milwaukee,WI
I was very touched by the experience of the three gentlemen in Refugee. I have traveled to Thailand and have an uncle living there, but also have a broader interest in the region. The Thailand trip really changed my life learning about a totally different culture. I want to someday travel to Cambodia to learn more about Cambodian history and learn about the people and their experiences. Maybe even to teach English there someday. Mike's story really touched me because I never was close to my dad either, he passed away when I was 14. Even before that I never really knew him that well and always longed for a father in my life. I really understood Mike and the answers he was longing for from his dad. Eric Renaud

5/12/04
Temple, TX
I was extremely touched by the boys meeting their families. Mostly I keep wondering why Mike and his Mom will not put in for Nang to come to America. My heart hurts for Nang. He is missing out on so much brotherly and motherly love but at the same time, I can see him wanting to stay in Cambodia with his Aunt. Is it possible for Nang to come to America to stay along with the Aunt. It is the least Mike and his Mom can do for them.

5/12/04
Angela
Arlington, Texas
This film is inspiring, touching, and revealing. The notion of identity, especially as an Asian-American, can be ambiguous. I appreciate the film because it reminded me so much of my own mother's family in Tarlac, Tarlac Philippines. Thank you. I will hold this film close to my heart.

5/12/04
Gabriel Panya Patrik Basily Ramasa
Green Bay, Wisconsin
I really like it. It was the best film. Like with me my parent edcape the killing in Laos to come here. But i'm only 16 and don't now much. The film made my cry. I'm happy that my parent has our whole family here.

5/12/04
Viola Tuiaki
Cedar City, Utah
I was very moved by the "Refugee" documentary made by Spencer Nakasako. I loved how it portrayed the lives of Mike, Paul, and David being raised in America and how it was a total 180 from the lives of their families in Cambodia. I was captivated by Mike's unfolding story and how he managed to eventually accept that it was a part of who he was and where he came from. I really loved that although he came from the rough and tough streets in the Tenderloin District, he held the value of family very dear in his heart. Hearing the story of Sophal and how he met his sister for the first time was a very touching story; giving what you have so that others may have a better life. The film kept me interested and intrigued throughout the entire duration and made me better appreciate and understand the lives and backgrounds of the many friends I had from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam while growing up. "Refugee" was very well put-together.

5/12/04
Christina Wilson
Dallas TX
I was blown away by Refugee. I caught a glimpse of this documentary and had to see the outcome of "The Player's" (as they call themselves)visit to Cambodia. For Mike I can't imagine how hard it was going through life for twenty years with so many questions unanswered. I have much respect for Mike, Paul, and David for making the trek to Cambodia to bring some closure to their lives and to see what life is like for their relatives. I feel like their visit there will make each of them stronger people. Especially for Mike and Paul who's encounters with there family were very touching. I wish them the best of luck.

5/12/04
I was so moved by this flim. To watch what Mike told his father gave me peace because I am raising a son whose father is not around. Everybody needs some type of closure and a beginning.

5/12/04
This film taught me a lot about family and friends. There are more out there in the world than what it seems. As an asian american, all i know is America for I have little knowledge about my homeland. Mike, Paul and David had the opportunity to go to Cambodia to learn more about their family and past is truly a blessing. Overall the film was excellent teaching the viewers and I the importance of our heritage.

5/12/04
MASSACHUSETTS
THIS WAS A GREAT DOCUMENTARY. GOOD JOB.

5/12/04
shelly ivy
conroe,tx
I really enjoyed this film that i saw last night it was an award wining film i think i would enjoy watching i over and over thaks to the boys who took time to make it.

5/12/04
mary
dalton
The video was well put together and i like how Mike had to deal with his emotions with his father I am cambodian too so it was a go0d document of 3 guys going back to Cambodia.

5/12/04
Nathan Son
Philadelphia, PA
This film reminded me of my journey escaping from Vietnam. As a Khmer Kampuchea Krom, I escaped from Communist Vietnam in 1986 because of war and being a Khmer minority in Vietnam (previously known as Khmer Kampuchea Krom) your own country. I can understand how Mike Siv feels because I did not have a father when I grew up. It took me a long time to accept the fact that my father was not there when I needed him the most. I have learned to be strong and appreciated that I still have a mother and other family members who care so much about my beings. I think this film will have a great impact on many Cambodian Youth around the world because many of them are facing cultural conflict between their parents and their new life in America. I believe as long that we will not forget our roots and hardship, we will overcome any obstacle in life.

I would like to say thank you to the producer, director, casts and the people who made this film possible. May all your lives fill with happiness and success.

Sincerely,
Nathan Son

5/12/04
John Farr
San Diego
So far I have only watched the last 15 minutes of the show, but will tape the future showing so I can watch it from the beginning.

My wife is Cambodian and I am white American.

I have many friends that are refugees from southeast asian and I am so interested in their experiences when they go back to "visit" their homeland.

This program was so very interesting in showing the emotions of this.

Thank You and look forward to the program on Laos

5/12/04
Jutta
Brooklyn, NY
I was very taken by the brave journey the three young men took - to their heritage, to a new land, to the past. I think it takes a lot to face your roots. Living in a western country in poverty does not prepare you to see poverty in other countries of the world - reflected by Paul having a hard time to believe that his sister lives under somebody else's house without having walls herself.

I have been relieved to see relatives after a year, to see friends. Sometimes a bad past has been put aside, sometimes the memories of the past have been glorified and are far from reality, resulting in disappointment.

Good luck for Mike, Paul and David for their future!

5/12/04
renee hylton
JAMAICA
IN SOME WAY I FELT CONNECTED TO MIKE GROWING UP SOME PART OF MY LIFE WITHOUT MY DAD. I FELT THAT DAVID WAS TRYING TO HOLD BACK BECAUSE HE WAS AFRIAD THAT MAYBE HE WOULDNT BE ACPECTED BY HIS FAMILY. I REALLY ENJOYED THE FILM. I JUST WANT TO SAY KEEP THE FAITH GUY

5/12/04
Dutch harbor, alaska
I watched the documentary twice on PBS, very good show. I was glad to see that the boys didnt go there with a snobbish, stuck up attitude's. I went to Danang, vietnam last nov. to meet a sweetie i met online, and i was surprised/shocked by just how poor the people are over there (but honest/friendly people). I had a great time and plan to go back to danang, this oct.

5/12/04
chantel mccormick
gresham oregon
hello, my name is chantel and I have an older sister whom is currently dating a man who excaped from cambodia soon after the Khmer Rouge invaded. I have hard time breathing sometimes when I think about some of the stories I have heard from his family about what happened to their people while they were there, and while they tried to escape. Watching this doc. was increadibly painful, I cried the whole time, yet it was some how healing and I want to thank these guys for bring this part of the past to life it is important to never forget. So Thank You

5/12/04
Margaret Cooper
Tampa, FL
When the war in Vietnam and it's aftermath regarding the killing fields were in progress, I was a young mother with a young family. I could not believe such atrocities could be going on in this "modern" age. I felt a kinship with the boys as my father had to leave his family in another state while he found work during the depression in the 1930's. I alays regretted being uprooted from my home in Missouri. We were lucky in that we were later reunited as a family. This story tells what the aftermath of war is always about.

5/12/04
Seam Ky Ung
San Pablo , CA
I still consider Cambodia to be my homeland even though my family left 24 years ago. I've become very americanized that I can't speak the Khmer language and still don't fully understand the culture and traditions. I was very moved by this film with all three men meeting family they haven't seen before and getting long time questions answered. I envy these men for following through on this journey and thank them for sharing these precious moments for people like myself to some what better understand the life we left in Cambodia. I plan on going for a visit with my father this summer to Battambang and Phnom Penh to see my birth place and visit family. I'm ggoing to have a difficult time because of the language barrier and hotter environment. I do hope to see more films on Cambodia and Refugees similar to this.

5/12/04
tania chhan
frisco/vallejo.ca
i really enjoyed this film piece. my family is also cambodian and our family history is similar to these young men, the only thing that i feel bad bout is that my brothers and me never got to meet out relatives from cambodia. everybody on my daddys side lives there and never once have i been able to see them, let alone talk with them. i really wish i could, juss so i could have some closure to my family history and to know where my dad came from. fron seeing this film, i kinda felt like i was taking the trip to go meeet my folks. it kinda makes u think that we is lucky to be out here, and fortunate enough to have food and money. and us young folks these days dont be trippin off our culture and history and our roots. we have been americanized in many ways, but we still gotta knoe that our ancestors, granmas and grandaddys really held it down for us in the first place. for mike, paul and dave, yall need a good job. you went for the truth, and sometimes it hurts to know it but you cant fake the reel...yanaddameen?yall did some good deeds out there coz u knoe they were in need of things, and juss the littlest things do be makin a big difference. one luv to all my bruthas and sistas. holla bak @ yo gyrl...ya knoe?

5/12/04
Anna
SF, CA
I'd heard from a friend who went (back) to Cambodia to teach for a few years, and how he was struck by the results of the war and horrible it was. It was great that Mike & his friends could bring the camera into these moments with his family, especially the effects of war, even after so long. It also brought up issues I think everyone has with their families and the choices they've made, whether global events were involved or not. I was really impressed by the honesty and openness of everyone in the film.

5/12/04
witney e. currie
los angels , c.a.
I thought that its was very moving it made me want to now more about my family and were i come from and if i have more family out there that i dont know about . And it also should me that family is very important and we should spend more time with are family and try do better in are lifes and make are familys proud. so thank you for showing me about your family and GOD BLESS.

5/12/04
Washington, DC
Two weeks ago, I flew to the mid-west to meet my father. I saw him last when I was four years old and now I am 23, but I didn't remember him. My parents split up because their marriage wasn't working, and my father couldn't keep a job. My father let my mother move across the country and gave up his visitation rights with an agreement that he never had to pay child support. After my mother left 19 years ago with no way for him to find us, they never talked again. I found him 2 years ago, but just recently went to meet him. When I contacted him, I found out that within a year of my mother leaving, my father had a new wife and was starting a new family. He is still married to this woman and has two children, who he has supported entirely on his own, so his wife has never had to work.

When I watched the journey of these guys to meet their families for the first time, I was amazed at the similarities with my experience, especially with Mike. He showed the same frustration I did, expecting our fathers to apoligize and empathize with us about growing up without a father and how it affected us. I also felt how it didn't make sense that our families fell apart, but our fathers' second families are still together today. It's confusing. How could they keep their second families together and support them, when they let our families fall apart and separate indefinitely?

I noticed that when Mike asked his father direct questions about his personal decisions, he somewhat avoided the question by blaming it on the war. I can't imagine being in a country at war, and I don't wish to downplay it's influence on his father's decisions, but my father also used the "bad times" and lack of work as an excuse for our family splitting up. We also both shared a higher comfort level with our father's wives, at first. I also sat and talked with my stepmother before approaching my father, because for some reason he seemed less approachable. Some of the things Mike's father said were almost verbatim to my father. My father also began talking about how much he loved my mother and how he still does. I had the same reaction as Mike, thinking, "Come on now!"

I don't know anyone that experienced anything like this, so when I tried to talk to my friends and family about it, they just couldn't really understand and didn't know what to say. It's kind of a weird thing to say that you're traveling to go "meet" your father, instead of "visit." I didn't cross countries, but I did travel from a city, D.C., to the middle of the mid-west. It was a bit of a culture shock for me, because it was really country, desolute, and just so different from where I was from. I also felt that there was a little something missing after I met my father, but Mike put it well when he explained that you have to let go of your expectations and accept him as he is, and not as what you thought he was or should be. I am still shocked that I saw such a similar story to my own. Seeing Mike's story made me feel that my confusion, reactions, and conclusions about meeting my own father were normal, and someone else experienced this in a similar way as me.

5/12/04
Samino Ok
I only saw the last five minutes of the program and I hope that it would be broadcast again. If so, please email me with the time & date. It seems like I could really relate to this film. I am also Cambodian American who immigrated here with my family of 7 in 1981 who has no memory of my other family members there because I came to America when I was only 7 months old. All I have are the stories my mother has told me. I am planning to visit my only grandparent left there very soon. Watching Mike's reunion with his brother gave me a picture of how it would be like to finally meet my grandma. Please let me know if this will be broadcast again or how I could get a copy of the video. Thank you so much!

5/12/04
Linda Chhon
Sacramento, Ca
The boys cracked me up. The film was as if someone popped in a home video of my Cambodian-American life. I wish the three boys and their families lots of luck in their lives and perhaps one day run into them in our beautiful homeland. "la-ah" (good)

5/12/04
ny chea
stockton, ca
My parents also escaped and migrated to America from Cambodia. I was born here in America, but i also consider Cambodia my homeland. I wish to someday visit Cambodia in the near future and i just want to thank Pbs and everyone else that was involved for putting this show on. Thank you.

5/12/04
as an ethiopian refugee myself i was so touched with the story, speacially mike the way you tried to understand why your dad left behind was so touching........good luck with you guys.

5/12/04
I saw the film and I don't feel one bit sorry for Mike Siv. Yes, he grew up without a father but Mike made it sound like his father was some deadbeat. His father only did what he knew best and even if it meant seperation was the last option of survival. Because I'll be damned if I have to watch my child suffer or be killed in front of me, I rather just know that he or she is somewhere in a better world safe from mine. I can't believe that Mike went to Cambodia expecting some good excuse or something from his dad. He doesn't owe Mike anything not even one piece of hair off his head. Mike came off arrogant and demanded all excuses. His brother even admitted the impression from him was mean and serious. His brother is probably thinking, "What the hell is he yapping for, I live in shack in Cambodia and barely get three meals a day." Mike's father isn't American, he's Asian. Most older generation Asians don't show their feelings because it's a man thing. You know there was some crazy stuff that happened in Cambodia. Pol Pot and his military are up there on this list next to the Nazis, if not above. Mike tried to make his father sound like a failure, he didn't fail Mike. If it was anyone he failed, it was Mike's brother who got stuck in Cambodia. Mike kept thinking his father didn't think about him and his mom, uh, HELLO, his brother is a constant reminder to his dad. Mike has a better life and the upper hand, show some freaking responsiblity. Be a brother, be a son and show some respect. Don't live in the past what's done is done. Mike needs to understand the term, "When you love something so much and you can't have it, you have to let it go. Hopefully, if it feels the same way some day it'll come back to you." That's probably what his father thinks about Mike. Another thing, I hope Mike is reading this maybe the only reason why his dad remarried and started a new family was to fill in the void that was once lost. If anyone was going to hook this family back together a long time ago it was up to Mike and his mom. I can say all this only the fact that I'm southeast Asian, too. If I was in Mike's shoes I would be more humble and have a lot of humility because of what my parents had to go through for me. My parents are refugees from the Vietnam War and stayed in Thailand before we came to the U.S. and they went through a lot of crap. Mike stop crying. Be a man that your dad hoped you would become and no matter how much money you earn or what degree you have...you will never amount to your father and what he has done for you and your mother. He gave you both something that all the money in world can't buy and it's a better life. He sacrificed his and your brother's future in a life-threating sitution. If it was possible to be together it would of been done. He probably knew that staying together meant dying together. But damn, life isn't fair and it's too short to cry about. You owe your father and brother so much more it's your responsiblity to give back.

5/12/04
Sarah Sullivan
Calgary, Canada
I watched this documentary late at night with my boyfriend. He is a Phillipino Canadian, and could relate to a lot of the story. I appreciated Mike's experiences, as I myself have grown up not knowing my dad. I think this entire documentary holds at least one relative aspect for each person watching, and that's what makes it so good.

I felt a closeness to the guys in this documentary, as they are so much like my close group of friends. They don't come from a suburbia that I can't relate to. They're street.

5/12/04
Soinya Blade
Modesto Ca
Wow. Just want to drop a message and say that was some journy. I just got got watching this film. I was very touch and i run downstair to tell my parents about it. They were watching it with me and tell me about how they was living up in Cambodia. Im amaze. I would like to write more. but.....

i dont know where this note is heading up to so imma stop untill i get a respond.

5/12/04
Noy
Grand Prairie, TX
I really like this film because I could relate to what these guys where going through. I went on a trip with my parents to Thailand ( my homeland) even thought i was like 6 months when i came to U.S. I found out that I had a stepmother,and older stepbrother and stepsister. It was a shock to me because I am the oldest out of my family, and then knowing that I had an older sibling was like unexpectied. But over all that experince was a great one. When the guys where leaving to go come back home, and they went to say their goodbyes to the family and some started to cry.. It reminded me of when i was leaving too.. and then I started to cry too..haha.. But anyways I think that you should make more films like these...Great One.

5/12/04
Rose Longoria
Corpus Christi
I really wanted to commend Mike, Paul, David for having such great courage. Having seen this has really touched me that with out even really knowing the family that was left behind and yet still longing to be simply a part of the that simple life because they were together. Mike was someone who really touched me especially all the love he had for the brother it which he never knew. I really wished he could have heard those words from his father that he so longed to hear. But time has showed what a great man he has become for that and be may have been the only real lesson that he has learned is that he could make it on his own. I am also glad how they have come away from this experience and maybe be a better people for it . Thank you for sharing just a small piece of your lives and maybe someone else will be bridge that gap just like you have to go home and try to find that family that was left behind and find some piece.

Thank you so much Rose Longoria

5/12/04
I felt that was a great step for those 3 guys. Not everyone has the heart to take that step. I was very happy that he was able to see his father and brother and also the other guys seeing they're family. But one thing stood out that made a difference in the whole trip. He came in reality with himself about his Dad. As a parent we have faults, and parents only know what they have been taught. but as a child we don't see that. But what breaks the trend is having our own children teaching them morals. But it is a beautiful situation that warmed my heart. thanks Guys. That's what we need to see more often.

5/12/04
Shirley V
Corpus Christi, TX
I just watched Mike's journey and thought it was the most touching experience ever. I am amazed at how compasionate he was about meeting his father, and his father's "other" family. I believe Mike accomplished just what he wanted to, he asked all the right questions, and stayed very focused on all the reasons why he went back to his homeland. Mike seemed to instantly bond with his brother Nang. It almost seemed as if Mike wanted to take Nang back to America to meet his mother. Almost as if he wanted to relieve Nang of his poor way of living, wanting Nang to experience America the free, but then realized how accepting and happy Nang was with his life in Cambodia. It was a realy touching film, I was moved. It was great to remind yourself the little things we take for granted in our lives.

5/12/04
Ted S Kong
Fitchburg, MA
Our family left Cambodia in late 1979 and I was around 15 yrs old. Now that I've been in the US for almost 23 years, I just don't really feel too much attachment to Cambodia as my "homeland." When I think of my own personal experience (15 yrs and all) living in Cambodia, the negative far out-weight the positive: the hellish nightmare that I was forced to endure as a child during Pol Pot utopia. I remember the moment of my two yrs old brother's death (from starvation and sickness): his eyes fixed upon me as if he didn't want to leave me and I felt nothing for him because I was also starved, sick and shaken with malaria. When I think of home, it's my home in Fitchburg, MA. Yes, I was born in Cambodia and one day I'll go back to visit.

I've been fortunate to have a loving and caring father (and mother) for without him I would never have come to America and live the "American dreams". Mike Siv would just have to let go of the past with his dad. When Mike become a dad, he'd have to remember to avoid the situation that his dad created.

I think Spencer's experiments have more advatages than the disadvantages. Good luck Spencer!

5/12/04
Alonzo
Houston, TX
I hope Mike, Paul, and David continue to keep in contact with their relatives in Cambodia. I was moved by this film and by the emotions these young men conveyed. At times you sensed tension, desire, and the awkwardness this type of situation must surely bring forth. This was truly a journey worth telling and seeing.

5/12/04
Lorinna Heng
Houston, TX
I was very touched by this film, also coming from a Cambodian family I felt I could relate, in that my Mom tells me similar stories from the war. They are very fortunate to have such an experience and to be able to have memories of their journey.

5/12/04
LINH NGUYEN
HOUSTON TX
What a bittersweet journey Mike decided to embark upon. Yet at the same time, he also possessed the capability to attempt to see all sides of the story, and not condemn his father for being absent, to try to understand, and accept the complexities of what had happened.

I also find it touching and brave that these guys would decide, at this stage in their youth, to search their roots and attempt to connect with something they barely even remember. I wish them the best.

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