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  • All Points of the Compass
  • All Points of the Compass

All Points of the Compass

SKU: SG264
    All Points Of the Compass will appeal to senior secondary students. It chronicles the Vietnamese Tran diaspora, exploring the key socio-political events against which this one family's history unfolds. Against a backdrop of uncertainty and political instability, Tran Van Lam, South Vietnam's Foreign Minister during the Vietnam War, fathered nine remarkable children who have set out to all points of the globe. In 1956, Tran was Governor of South Vietnam. It was a time when the sons of politicians were at risk of kidnapping. When a grenade blew up under Tran's car, he decided to send the children away to the USA and Australia. Everyone who left wrote to those remaining behind in Vietnam, saying how they missed the family; but each of them managed to deal with the sense of separation and loneliness by focusing on their ultimate purpose. Tran hoped his nine children would eventually return from the West to serve their country. None of them now lives in Vietnam, and as one of the daughters comments, if they return, it will be as tourists.

    This documentary is a testament to the enduring bonds of family. It is ultimately a very moving tribute to a man who endured great losses and disappointments with remarkable dignity and integrity. His powerful legacy is to be seen in his adult children, with their ongoing commitment to the need for decency and personal responsibility in the world. The stories circle around migration, assimilation, inter-generational loyalties and conflicts, and multiculturalism. Each member of the Tran family contributes their own particular perspective on the nature of identity and family, in a documentary that makes rich and poetic use of home movie footage, newsreels and interviews.

    The study guide has extensive discussion starters and activities that focus on immigration, multiculturalism and identity, the Vietnam War and documentary as text.

    Curriculum Links:
    All Points Of the Compass, the film and the study guide are relevant to
    senior secondary:
    • SOSE / HSIE
    • English
    • Media Studies

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