When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history. Lynne and Dana Sachs’ travel diary of their trip to Vietnam is a collection of tourism, city life, culture clash, and historic inquiry that’s put together with the warmth of a quilt.
WHICH WAY IS EAST starts as a road trip and flowers into a political discourse. It combines Vietnamese parables, history and memories of the people the sisters met, as well as their own childhood memories of the war on TV. To Americans for whom “Vietnam” ended in 1975, WHICH WAY IS EAST is a reminder that Vietnam is a country, not a war.
The film has a combination of qualities: compassion, acute observational skills, an understanding of history’s scope, and a critical ability to discern what’s missing from the textbooks and TV news. (—The Independent Film and Video Monthly)
“Captures the Vietnam experience with comprehension and compassion, squeezing a vast and incredible country into an intriguing film.” —Portland Tonic Magazine
Sundance Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize, Atlanta Film Festival
Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
Melbourne Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Denver Film Festival
“The sound track is layered with the cacophony of bustling city streets, the chirps of cicadas and gentle rustles of trees in the countryside, and the visuals, devoid of travelogue clichés, are a collage of pictorial snippets taken from unusual vantage points.... What comes through is such a strong sense of the place you can almost smell it.” —The Chicago Reader