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Great Branches, New Roots
the Hmong Family
video released 1983 43 minutes $30.00
HMONG VOICES FROM THE FILM:
"For a Hmong woman, not having a baby is like seeing water and not being able to drink it." (birth control issues)
"When Americans get old, their children just send them out. It's not worth it to raise children in this country." (the elderly)
"I know I should be somewhere in the area of school, so I can help my people." (employment issues - the teacher who said his died less that one year later of sudden death syndrome.)
"Father, please help us live as clear as the water and as white as the rice." (spoken at a ritual in a cemetary)
This independent production by Rita La Doux, Nancy Haley and Kathleen Laughlin was a ground-breaking window to the new community of Hmong refugees that citizens of St. Paul, MN suddenly found amongst themselves. Orignally shot in 16mm, the video uses animation, interviews, and candidly shot documentary material from many corners of their lives to convey their concept of family, its structure and role in their survival in the American city.
"Great Branches, New Roots opens new doors of cultural understanding...a vastly important work, filmed in an atmosphere of trust and compassion. Absolutely one of the finest films concerning refugees and cultural adjustment ever produced. It has far-reaching implications well beyond the confines of the Twin Cities and the Hmong community."
—Jane Kretzman, State Coordinator, MN Refugee Program Office tions