The Betrayal – Nerakhoon

Einer der herausragenden Dokumentarfilme des letzten Jahres ist wieder auf DVD lieferbar: „The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)“ (Berlinale PDF), die erste Regiearbeit von Kamerafrau Ellen Kuras und Thavisouk Phrasavath, ein Werk von großer visueller Kraft, das über 23 Jahre gedreht wurde. Es beschreibt die Odyssee einer Familie aus dem Krieg in Laos in den Krieg der Ghettos von New York:

„Made in collaboration with Thavisouk Phrasavath, a Laotian-born writer and film editor, „The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)“ could be described as a family documentary. But that phrase doesn’t do this beautiful picture justice, in a variety of ways. Over the course of its 96 minutes, „The Betrayal“ does indeed tell the story of how 12-year-old Phravasath escaped from Laos in 1979 — by swimming across the Mekong River to Thailand — and eventually brought his mother and seven of his nine siblings with him to an ambiguous new life in New York.

Instead of the paradisiacal land of enormous lawns they’d been expecting to see in America, the Phravasath family found themselves in a filthy, overcrowded neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., terrorized by crack addicts and gang members. Phravasath remembers thinking, when he first saw Flatbush Avenue, that they must have boarded the wrong plane and arrived on the wrong continent. His mother, in many ways the dominant figure in the film, insists that if she’d known what America was really like, she’d have stayed at home, even under the impoverishment and tyranny of Laos‘ 1980s communist regime.“ (Andrew O’Hehir: Strangers in a Strange Land,


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