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Blue Collar & Buddha

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $350


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned:
Running Time: 57 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide:

Copyright Date: 1988
Available in French: No

This dramatic documentary sensitively explores the dilemma of a community of Laotian refugees, torn between preserving their cultural identity and adapting to their new life in America. Re-settling in Rockford, Illinois, they find their working class neighbors resent their economic gains. With shocking clarity Rockford's blue collar workers, many unemployed, voice their hatred of the newcomers, whom they confuse with their former enemies in Vietnam. When the Laotians build a Buddhist temple, the monks are subject to terrorist attacks. Town officials and clergymen respond to this crisis, some with indifference others with concern. The Laotians, for their part, have no other options but to stay in Rockford, working hard to make a better life for their children.

Awards: National Conference on Ethnic Relations in Higher Educ., 1991 Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology, 1988 Best Documentary, Atlanta Film & Video Festival, 1988