Film: The Betrayal, 2/27-3/5 @ Lumiere


[Thavisouk Phrasavath and his mother, Orady Phrasavath in Ellen Kuras’ documentary, The Betrayal. Courtesy of The Cinema Guild.]

[Disclosure: I haven’t seen this film, so I can’t recommend it on that basis. But I got a quick glimpse of it and heard good things about it at Landmark’s Film Club Spring Preview a couple of weeks ago.]

The Betrayal is a documentary about one Laotian family’s flight from Laos and their journey to NYC, and their struggles to survive. Thavisouk is the eldest of 10 children, and responsibility for the family fell upon him when his father was arrested in 1975 by the Pathet Lao. His father’s crime? Working for the Americans. Allow me to quote the press release:

[Director Ellen] Kuras and Phrasavath have created a lyrical film that fluidly incorporates archival footage, cinema verite, interview material and visually poetic montages. The result is a story of what it means to be in exile, of the far-reaching consequences of war, and of the resilient bonds of family. Thavisouk’s unforgettable journey reminds us of the strength necessary to survive unthinkable conditions, and of the human spirit’s inspiring capacity to adapt, rebuild, and forgive.

Twenty-three years of filming and research went into this film. Director Ellen Kuras is a famed cinematographer; she has won the Best Dramatic Cinematography award at Sundance no fewer than three times, and she also shot Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The Betrayal is her directorial debut.

The film opens at the Lumiere this Friday, February 27th, and will run until March 5th. Showtimes: Fri-Sun (2:20 4:45) 7:10 9:20. Mon-Thu (4:45) 7:10 9:20.

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