By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
We're still receiving a slew of letters concerning film critic Scott Foundas' 190-word capsule review ofJourney From the Fall, which appeared in our March 23 New Reviews. A sampling follows; the rest are posted here.
Your review violated one of the important rules in journalism: if you simply don't know the facts or [have the] the experience, don't insult the readers by your shamming. Unless you are seriously culturally challenged, I suggest you try to educate/sensitize yourself thoroughly on specific issues before penning more ethnically related articles, or risk being OC Weekly's habitual jester.
Scott uses the word "phony" in the end—what does it mean? Is the movie's story phony? It is not right to use the word phony; the events in the movie happened in reality. Scott, may I suggest you to do some research about Vietnam during the early part of 1975 and after that. OC Weekly, please ensure you have educated writers in the topics they're writing about, as this is an example of what will cause your your company to have bad reputation.
Scott, obviously you have very little knowledge of what was going on in Vietnam since the fall of South Vietnam. Soldiers were fighting until their armo ran out. Many even chose death over being captured by the Communists. After the fall, South Vietnamese soldiers and officers were sent to the so-called "re-education camp." They were told it would be only 10 days, but the truth is people were sent away for years. My dad was one of those. Next time, do some research before putting your foot in your mouth.
Ham Tran's statement, which you may have read already: "It's not that I mind getting a bad movie review, but to call this film 'phony' is exactly the kind of ignorant mentality we have had to struggle against in the past 30 years. It is the kind of language that has excluded our community's terrible ordeals from historical consciousness. This reviewer needs to know that what the speech in the re-education camp that the communist official lectures to the prisoners is not what he calls 'declamatory political dialogue,' but they are the actual words lectured by the communists to the re-education-camp prisoners. Chu Son, who is the person who plays the communist lecturer, recited that entire speech by heart because it was what the communists forced him to memorize. This speech is by far not 'scripted'; these are the words he was forced to listen to every night for three years, until they were forever burned into his memory."
My wife and I cried through the whole movie because it is so real and brings up painful memories we would rather forget. However, it may serve us better to remember them. Two of my brothers were in the "re-education" camps. After being released from the camp after 10 years, one died a few years later. Both of his kidneys failed. Two others died during the Vietnam war.