The three Darwish brothers, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 50's, established the family factory "Fantasia" - a menorah factory. For a time period of 50 years they designed, manufactured and shipped Chanukah menorahs for the entire world and now...the family factory is about to close down.
From this point in time, the director, who is the son of the youngest brother, is starting to embark on a journey that unravels the history of his family, going back 100 years. The story weaves memories from Iraq and Israel – two homelands, two languages, two identities, two enemies. The director is trying to reconstruct the narrative of his family, a narrative that has disappeared in the silence and shame that followed the family move to Israel. The father's silence is finally broken by the director's relentless inquiries, which reveal a story about five lost years of his father in the Iraqi prison.
Hoiami Nguyen never imagined that he would end up so far from his home village of Bong Son in central Vietnam. Political circumstances and the roulette of life have washed him to the shores of Israel. The penniless Vietnamese refugee became a father of 5 Hebrew speaking Israeli daughters. His daughter - Vaan, describes her parents' ordeal using a razor sharp language in her blog. She feels trapped in circles of identity that will never meet. Caught between her wild and stormy Israeli spirit and the expectations to be modest and obedient Vietnamese at home, there is unbridgeable abyss. When her father returns to his family in Vietnam, Vaan finds herself absorbed into his tragic story - a cruel tale of loss and survival. Hoimai's dream of return sends Vaan to look for a brighter future in the new-old country. She joins him in trying to reclaim the lands of the family, in the remote village at the heart of the Vietnamese jungle.
The Journey of Vaan Nguyen has premiered at the Asian-American Film Festival in San Francisco, it won the Remi Award at Houston Worldfest, and showcased in more than 30 festivals world-wide.
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Raging Dove tells the story of Palestinian-Israeli-American world champion boxer Johar Abu Lashin. Undefeated, he decides to defend his title - first in his hometown of Nazareth, then in Gaza, Palestine - and unwittingly orchestrates his own downfall, as the quagmire of Middle-East politics deals him the fatal blow.
Bruising and illuminating documentary | New York Times Film Review
A brand new film series is hitting the airwaves of public television stations nationwide; the Israeli Film Festival on Public Television’s premiere season features the films of filmmaker Duki Dror. PTV stations will air the three films: Raging Dove, The Journey of Vaan Nguyen and My Fantasia. Dror's works bear the hallmark of a personal obsession with roots and divided identities - be it a Vietnamese refugee growing up in Israel, a Palestinian-Israeli world-champion boxer, or his own story - as the Israeli-born, US-educated, son of Iraqi-Jewish refugees.