Directed by Spencer Nakasako • 2003 • United States
Starring David Mark, Mike Siv, Sophal Meas
Growing up in San Francisco, twenty-four-year-old Michael Siv never knew the details of why he and his mother fled the Khmer Rouge while his father stayed behind in Cambodia. To reconcile his feelings about growing up fatherless and a refugee, Mike and two Cambodian American friends pack their DV cameras and fly to Cambodia to seek out family known only through telephone calls and the imagination. Full of humor and emotional depth, REFUGEE is a product of Spencer Nakasako’s video programs for San Francisco’s Vietnamese Youth Development Center, where he guided refugee youth in making diaristic documentaries, predating the YouTube vlogs that would revolutionize Asian American media for the coming generation.