REVIEW SPARKS OUTCRY

Some readers accuse film critic of racism

I'm not the one to critique a review, because one person's view is just that one person's review. Now I do take the reviewer's comments on the fact that the dialogue is phony [as] insulting. Not to get into my family's history nor to get into the politics, but for the first time in my life of 26 years, my sister's 29 years and my older sister's 35 years have we ever seen my father cry. He cried while reciting the lecture's speech. Something that I cannot comprehend. Something that has been forever scarred into his mind. The critic also depicts the movie to be old-fashion[ed]. I'm not quite sure what he means other than the fact that this did take place many decades ago. The fact that he infers that the movie is . . . full of "movie-of-the-week inspirationalism"—as if this is fiction and a stretch of the fantasy [and] imagination [is wrong]. Read up and educate yourself, Mr. Foundas: these events did happen. And if there is anything false depicted in the movie, it is that of the downplaying of these actual events.

— Loy Lee
via e-mail

While I understand that movie reviews reflect opinions, the evidence reviewers use when explaining their opinions to readers must be accurate. Foundas' use of the term "phony" to describe Journey from the Fall is unimaginably hurtful to the Vietnamese-American community. He wrote that it was akin to "movie-of-the-week inspirationalism" without an understanding of the undeniably dramatic and emotional tone of the situation. I guess I do not necessarily expect Foundas to reflect Vietnamese perspectives, but I do expect OC Weekly to understand the communities it serves. Although older-generation Vietnamese might not read your paper enough to matter, their more Americanized children do. In addition, it is important for others who interact with the Vietnamese-American community in OC to understand that their hardships are far from "phony." (The dialogue and behaviors of the actors were also accurate representations of the Vietnamese people.) These events were real and could easily be told to you by most, if not all, Vietnamese-Americans you meet. The OC Weekly's syndication of this article seemed to be without analysis and cultural awareness. The Vietnamese-American community would just like this paper to acknowledge the untrue facts behind Foundas' opinions and apologize for downgrading an immensely crucial aspect of Vietnamese-American life.

— Stephanie Van
via e-mail

". . . [P]olitical dialogue and movie-of-the-week inspirationalism feels decidedly old-fashioned and, finally, even phony." Scott Foundas does not know squat about the prison camps in Vietnam and the inhumane treatment of prisoners.

— Binh Nguyen
via e-mail

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