A war veteran and P.O.W. takes a complicated path to U.S. citizenship, made more dramatic by his daughter's discovery of his wartime diary.
Growing up, filmmaker Theresa Loong knew that her father, Paul Loong, was older than most of her friends' parents. Throughout her youth and young adulthood, Theresa recalls a cheerful father who loved to laugh and play pranks on his kids. But underneath all that laughter, he would show occasional flashes of anger and sadness.
One day young Theresa asked him innocently about a curious scar on his back. "Everyone has secrets," he would say.
She knew this much: his road to becoming an American citizen was anything but direct. As a Chinese Malaysian teenager serving in the British Royal Air Force, he spent three years at hard labor as a prisoner of war in Japan. But it wasn't until Theresa uncovered a hidden diary her father kept while imprisoned, that she uncovered other family secrets.
The film draws upon Paul's experiences to explore contemporary issues of war, immigration, and national identity. It celebrates the freedom that comes with confronting the past and facing the future with resilience, forgiveness, and love.
A must watch
- The Wall Street Journal
Theresa Loong creates intergenerational storytelling experiences focused on memory, identity, and immigration through the use of film, games and apps. As a director, her documentary, “Every Day Is a Holiday,” showed on public television with support from the LMCC, ITVS and CPB. She served as an associate producer on the public television film "So Very Far from Home" and as a researcher for the PBS documentary China Now: To Get Rich Is Glorious. She was a consulting producer for AMC Networks on digital storytelling experiences surrounding The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Theresa led integrated media projects with the New York Times, Architecture for Humanity, and Food and Wine. She has lectured at NYU, Hunter and The New School. She exhibited at the National Gallery, Teriennale di Milano and Círculo de Bellas Artes. She received grants from NYSCA, the NEA and was a Flaherty Seminar fellow. Theresa is currently developing a documentary film and interactive piece with community organizations. She is an adjunct professor at Bloomfield College. Theresa is chairperson of the board of directors of The Filmshop.
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