“No Crying at the Dinner Table” is a student film that shows the life of second generation Vietnamese Canadians. This year the filmmaker will host a free community screening of two documentaries from two Vietnamese documentary directors along with an intimate discussion, we hope to provide a safe and artistic environment for second-generation Vietnamese students to start conversations about communication, family and mental health within the Vietnamese and Asian community.
The group hosted a similar event in Toronto featuring director Carol Nguyen and the film “No Crying at the Dinner Table,” which addresses these themes and the result were successful. After an emotional screening, the audience of 50 people prompted questions relating to their own lives and what it means to be in the Vietnamese diaspora. These conversations are extraordinarily important as the Vietnamese culture is quite silent when it comes to stories and communication – especially our parents, those who have suffered through war and trauma. It is necessary for our community to heal and bond by recognizing the effect of intergenerational trauma in our diaspora.
“No Crying at the Dinner Table” is an experimental-documentary that capture the directors family’s confessions and reunifies them through confrontation and listening in hopes to start dialogues within families and minority communities.
In 2011, 20.6% of Canada’s population were immigrants. 17.4% were second-generation Canadians (Statistics Canada). Some of the more obvious adversities that minorities face are injustices, racism, and discrimination. One of the less visible adversities that immigrants and second-generations face are identity crises. For second-generations, this is especially confusing when you’re being raised a certain way at home, but being taught another at school and in society. This makes it harder to communicate with your parents, torn between the ideals of the people you love and the culture you grew up in. For Asian-Canadians, the differences between these two cultures are polarizing, so the easiest solution if often sweeping things under the rug.
Carol Nguyen

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