Green Dragon

Green Dragon

Director: Timothy Linh Bui, Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Don Duong

Cast: Timothy Linh Bui, Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Don Duong

     
 

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In 1975, as the war in Vietnam finally draws to a close, a number of Vietnamese refugees seeking new homes in the United States find themselves housed at the Camp Pendleton Marine base in California, where Sgt. Jim Lance (Patrick Swayze) is put in charge of their care. Lance is a compassionate man who tries to afford the refugees as much dignity and respect as is

Overview

In 1975, as the war in Vietnam finally draws to a close, a number of Vietnamese refugees seeking new homes in the United States find themselves housed at the Camp Pendleton Marine base in California, where Sgt. Jim Lance (Patrick Swayze) is put in charge of their care. Lance is a compassionate man who tries to afford the refugees as much dignity and respect as is possible; frustrated by his inability to speak with them directly, Lance strikes up a friendship with Tai (Don Duong), who worked with the U.S. Army as a translator during the war and now wants to settle in America. Tai helps Lance speak with the refugees, and coaches him in conversational Vietnamese. Tai and Lance soon come to realize how much they have in common, and how they are both still coming to terms with the emotional scars inflicted upon them by the war. Tai is looking after his nephew Minh (Trung Nguyen) and niece Anh (Jennifer Tran), who are waiting for their mother to arrive, but Tai is tortured with guilt, convinced he should have given her his seat on the flight to California. Lance, on the other hand, was stationed in America while his brother fought and died in Vietnam, and Lance believes he should have taken his brother's place. Meanwhile, Minh spends his days looking after Anh and wandering the camp; he strikes up a friendship with Addie (Forest Whitaker), a cook at the camp with a passion for art. Together, Addie and Minh try to brighten the refugees' area by creating a large and colorful mural that symbolizes the multicultural America they dream of. Green Dragon was written and directed by Timothy Linh Bui, whose brother Tony Bui helmed the acclaimed drama Three Seasons, which examined life in contemporary Vietnam.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A heartfelt, richly detailed drama about strangers in a strange land, Green Dragon tells the stories of Vietnamese émigrés who arrive in California shortly before the 1975 fall of Saigon and accustom themselves to a new homeland. Among the new arrivals are English-speaking Tai Tran (Don Doung) and Minh Pham (Trung Nguyen), his precocious nephew. Like their fellow countrymen, they reside in tents and Quonset huts during the first phase of their assimilation. Tai is employed as a liaison to the other refugees by compassionate marine sergeant Lance (Patrick Swayze), and young Minh bonds with camp cook and budding artist Addie (Forest Whitaker), who encourages the boy to help him complete a mural depicting a green dragon. Director Timothy Linh Bui, who was only five years old when he relocated to America from Saigon, doesn’t rely on a central conflict to sustain audience interest in Green Dragon; the film is a series of interactions between characters, and while the top-billed Swayze and Whitaker are technically the movie’s "stars," their roles aren’t traditional leads. The Vietnamese actors take center stage, portraying their characters in a nuanced, naturalistic style. Linh Bui occasionally succumbs to contrivance and sentiment, but for the most part Green Dragon rings true. It’s a film of great warmth, depth, and texture -- and one you won’t forget for a long, long time. Linh Bui and his cinematographer supply a commentary for the DVD, which also includes a behind-the-scenes documentary.
Barnes & Noble

A lyrical, bittersweet film about what could be termed a by-product of battle. Megan Turner
Los Angeles Times
A gracious, eloquent film that by its end offers a ray of hope to the refugees able to look ahead and resist living in a past forever lost. Kevin Thomas

Product Details

Release Date:
05/31/2011
UPC:
0031398136002
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:53:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Filmmaker commentary ; Deleted scenes with optional director commentary; Behind-the-scenes documentary ; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patrick Swayze Jim Lance
Forest Whitaker Addie
Don Duong Tai Tran
Hiep Thi Le Thuy Hoa
Nguyen Long Actor
Catherine Ai Actor
Kieu Chinh Kieu
Kathleen Luong Kim
Trung Nguyen Actor

Technical Credits
Timothy Linh Bui Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Felipe Borrero Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Bui Original Story,Producer
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Jeff Danna Score Composer
Ghia Fam Costumes/Costume Designer
Ghia Ci Fam Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Fleming Production Designer
Rene Haynes Casting
Kramer Morgenthau Cinematographer
Tajamika Paxton Producer
Elie Samaha Producer
Alison Semenza Executive Producer
Andrew Stevens Producer
Leo Trombetta Editor
Forest Whitaker Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Green Dragon
1. Camp [8:51]
2. Adapting [7:04]
3. Drawing [8:39]
4. Oblivious [6:34]
5. #1 Fan [10:10]
6. Over the Mountains [8:34]
7. Betrayed [9:58]
8. Bravery [8:31]
9. Equals [1:30]
10. Discovering America [3:59]
11. A New Hope [10:34]
12. End Credits [13:21]

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