In 1988, Tiana Alexandra Silliphant defied the U.S. Trade Embargo and returned to Vietnam. She was the first American filmmaker to enter Vietnam after the war. Her father, the former Director of Press for the Southern regime of President Diem, warned Tiana that she would be "eaten for breakfast" by the Northern communist leaders if she dared to visit her former homeland.
While there, Tiana wrote a poem of reconciliation to the Northern leaders, and was welcomed to meet them. Tiana met with Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, and Diplomat Le Duc Tho, who declined the Nobel Peace Prize that was accepted by Henry Kissinger. Tiana was also invited to visit General Vo Nguyen Giap, Ho Chi Minh's military mastermind who was credited with victory against the French and the Americans in the Indochina and Vietnam Wars. Tiana befriended General Giap and continued to film him over a 25 year period. Giap died on October 4, 2013 at the age of 102. Tiana is currently finishing a feature documentary on Giap entitled "The General & Me."
In this video interview, recorded during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, Tiana recounts her forbidden journey back into Vietnam, and the poem that opened the door to the welcoming Northern leaders.