Journey from the Fall

Journey from the Fall

Journey from the Fall

Ham Tram's debut feature, the object of much love and affection from critics, is a post-Vietnam War saga, following one family’s struggle for freedom.

April 30, 1975 marked the end of Vietnam's two-decade-long civil war and the time when hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the country. Long Nguyen decides to stay in Vietnam. But when he gets imprisoned in a Communist re-eductation camp, he urges his family to leave without him. They make the perilous ocean voyage in the hope of reaching the U.S. and freedom. After many years of solitary confinement and worrying that his family has perished, news finally reaches Long in the early 80s that they have settled safely in California. He is inspired to attempt another escape.

2008Rating: M, Contains violence135 minsUSAVietnamese and English, with English subtitles
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Reviews & comments

Flicks, Andreas Heinemann

Flicks, Andreas Heinemann

flicks

The Vietnam War has provided the subject material for an extensive list of movies, many of which occupy pride of place amongst the canon of classic American cinema. Up until this point though, scant attention has been paid to the stories of the Vietnamese people themselves who suffered through the conflict and became ‘boat people’, refugees that escaped the remnants of the battle zone and searched for a better life in the United States. Rookie director Ham Tran passionately puts forward this perspective in Journey From the Fall.

4.0
0
Village Voice

Village Voice

press

Tran's reliance on declamatory political dialogue and movie-of-the-week inspirationalism feels decidedly old-fashioned and, finally, even phony.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The film depicts one family's endurance in sturdy, old-movie style, with sweeping camerawork, a monumental and occasionally intrusive orchestral score, gorgeous yet forbidding natural vistas and enough shocking tragedies, brazen escapes and crowd-pleasing acts of defiance to fuel several action-adventure pictures.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Impressive, often harrowing screen saga about a Vietnamese family's escape to resettlement in America.

3.0
0
Lumiere Reader

Lumiere Reader

press

Polished, forthright, and very moving, Ham Tran’s Journey From the Fall ought to stand on its own two feet despite offhanded comparisons to Schindler’s List. It is by turns a tough and tender survival story of Vietnamese boat people that’s more intimate, less remorseful, and not in slightest bit self-righteous.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

An example of sophisticated, impassioned filmmaking involving mainly people who lived through the harrowing experiences so unsparingly depicted, Journey From the Fall powerfully illustrates the refugee/immigrant experience.

0
Film Threat

Film Threat

press

Journey from the Fall re-educates as well as entertains, but never takes the easy way out, nor does it preach. In the end, it's a snippet of one family forever altered, and despite all the political undertones, it's the human level on which the film succeeds most of all.

4.0
0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

Unfortunately, this potentially excellent film is marred by some bizarre story construction. The first half of the film constantly shifts back and forward between time periods, never allowing the audience to settle into the story. Such Lost-style narrative shenanigans may be trendy, but here they end up lessening the impact of a stirring and heartrending tale.

0
Flicks, Andreas Heinemann

Flicks, Andreas Heinemann

flicks

The Vietnam War has provided the subject material for an extensive list of movies, many of which occupy pride of place amongst the canon of classic American cinema. Up until this point though, scant attention has been paid to the stories of the Vietnamese people themselves who suffered through the conflict and became ‘boat people’, refugees that escaped the remnants of the battle zone and searched for a better life in the United States. Rookie director Ham Tran passionately puts forward this perspective in Journey From the Fall.

4.0
0
Village Voice

Village Voice

press

Tran's reliance on declamatory political dialogue and movie-of-the-week inspirationalism feels decidedly old-fashioned and, finally, even phony.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The film depicts one family's endurance in sturdy, old-movie style, with sweeping camerawork, a monumental and occasionally intrusive orchestral score, gorgeous yet forbidding natural vistas and enough shocking tragedies, brazen escapes and crowd-pleasing acts of defiance to fuel several action-adventure pictures.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Impressive, often harrowing screen saga about a Vietnamese family's escape to resettlement in America.

3.0
0
Lumiere Reader

Lumiere Reader

press

Polished, forthright, and very moving, Ham Tran’s Journey From the Fall ought to stand on its own two feet despite offhanded comparisons to Schindler’s List. It is by turns a tough and tender survival story of Vietnamese boat people that’s more intimate, less remorseful, and not in slightest bit self-righteous.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

An example of sophisticated, impassioned filmmaking involving mainly people who lived through the harrowing experiences so unsparingly depicted, Journey From the Fall powerfully illustrates the refugee/immigrant experience.

0
Film Threat

Film Threat

press

Journey from the Fall re-educates as well as entertains, but never takes the easy way out, nor does it preach. In the end, it's a snippet of one family forever altered, and despite all the political undertones, it's the human level on which the film succeeds most of all.

4.0
0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

Unfortunately, this potentially excellent film is marred by some bizarre story construction. The first half of the film constantly shifts back and forward between time periods, never allowing the audience to settle into the story. Such Lost-style narrative shenanigans may be trendy, but here they end up lessening the impact of a stirring and heartrending tale.

0

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