A spunky Vietnamese teenager named Mai gets the chance of a lifetime — to study in the United States. Expecting Hollywood, she instead lands in rural Mississippi, a crazy quilt of self-proclaimed rednecks, cliquish teenagers, South Vietnamese exiles and transvestite soulmates. As she tries to fit in and to make ends meet, Mai discovers that America is both less and far more than she bargained for. From cosmopolitan Hanoi to the heart of the Deep South, Mai's unforgettable journey offers an outsider's glimpse inside America.
From death on the streets of Crown Heights to director Steven Spielberg's controversial visit to a predominantly black high school in East Oakland, the film resists simple analysis and treads provocatively on the fault lines of racial coalition and conflict.