A heartbreaking documentary that alters their expectations of happily ever afters, Daughter from Danang is a fascinating emotional drama of nostalgia, identity and personal legacy of war.
To all outward appearances, Heidi is the proverbial “All-American Girl”, who come from small town Pulaski, Tennessee, but his birth name was Mai Thi Hiep. Born in Danang, Vietnam, in 1968, she is the mestiza daughter of a U.S. soldier and a Vietnamese woman.
Fearing for the safety of his daughter at the end of the war, Hiep’s mother sent him to the U.S. the “Operation Babylift,” a Ford administration plan to move the orphans and children of mixed race to the U.S. for approval before the victim of a terribly uncertain future after the U.S. Vietnam withdrew. Mother and daughter know nothing of each other for 22 years.
Now, as if by a miracle, meeting in Danang. But what seems to be the signal for a happy ending is just the opposite. Heidi and her Vietnamese relatives are caught in a clash of cultures and confused at the mercy of the conflicting emotions that will change their lives forever.
Through intimate moments and at times unbearable, Daughter from Danang deeply shows the width of the chasms of cultural difference and the depth of the wounds of war can work, even within the same family.