Bui Doi: Life Like Dust (1994)


Life for most young Vietnamese youth in the United States is a “life like dust.” This film goes inside the mind of Ricky Phan, once a gang leader in Southern California and now serving an 11-year sentence for armed robbery. Shot over a three-year period before Ricky’s arrest, BUI DOI… explores his memories of childhood in war-weary Saigon, his days in the U.S. as a “gangster,” and then his life in a state prison. Which is more violent: fleeing from a war-ravaged nation or trying to survive in an alien Western culture?

Directors: Ahrin Mishan, Nick Rothenberg.
Composer: Ahrin Mishan.


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