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A Village Called Versailles

February 25, 2010

Last week, Racebending.com had the opportunity to watch A Village Called Versailles, a documentary about the struggle of the Vietnamese American community of New Orleans.

Vietnamese Americans Protesting in New Orleans

From their official website:

In a New Orleans neighborhood called Versailles, a tight-knit group of Vietnamese Americans overcame obstacles to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill.

A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES is the empowering story of how the Versailles people, who have already suffered so much in their lifetime, turn a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance for a better future.


The documentary takes us into the heart of this six-thousand strong community of Vietnamese American families. We learn about the pain and hardship experienced by the older Vietnamese on their journey to come to America and build livelihoods for their children and grandchildren. At the same time, we see a growing movement of American-born youth come to support – and lead – their parents and grandparents in a struggle for recognition and acceptance.

This is a story that bridges oceans and generations alike. The film is not designed to preach, but to inspire: to share a unique slice of the American story with a wide audience. As we watched, we came to feel, appreciate, and empathize with Versailles’ heartbreak – and triumph.

Versailles - Father Luke at the Landfill Protest

This film is not a recollection of events past, but a celebration of a living, breathing community. It is a celebration of togetherness and action, of people reaching out and supporting each other. To anyone who has ever experienced hardship in their lives, to anyone who has ever taken up a cause deemed hopeless, to all those who rally for justice in the face of indifference: this is a film you cannot afford to miss.

Check out the official site for information on film screenings and the details on how you can purchase the DVD.

Categories: Current Diversity Highlights
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About the Author

Mike Le is the Media Liaison for Racebending. A native-born Californian, he objects to shoveling snow and is a strong proponent of pollo asado fries. Mike has been interviewed about media diversity by dozens of news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, BBC Radio, and Public Radio International.

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