The hurricane that made landfall at New Orleans on August 29 2005 hit many who already had been blown around the world. Vietnamese there had taken boats south from Hai Phong in 1954 and then west from Saigon in 1975, away from the Communists.
Roman Catholic priests in Versailles, Louisiana recalled these struggles to their parish as a basis for hope in surviving the storm, returning to their homes, rebuilding and defending their community. The Vietnamese Americans of Versailles are fishermen, working people, not the political and publishing intellectuals more common in Orange County and the Bay Area.
But the fathers turned the whole community toward politics and visiting film-maker S. Leo Chiang has made them screen stars as well, actors in the lives they are authoring. Click here to buy a DVD of A Village called Versailles, now up for an Emmy.