It is not often that a re-run is an important event, but this is one of those occaisions.
UWMC is showing again the film, “Hunted Like Animals” which is a documentary by Rebecca Sommers about the genocide of the Hmong people in Laos. The film will be shown on October 10 at 7 pm in the college theater, and as usual, you can’t beat the price, it free.
Cheng Lee, Director at the Multicultural Resource Center at the college has arranged for Rebecca Sommers to be available by phone after the screening to discuss the film and answer any questions. Lee said that last year when the film was show there was a panel discussion with a number of local Hmong Elders discussing the film. That must have been fascinating, and I am very sorry to have missed that.
Most of us in Wausau are aware of the sad recent history of the Hmong people. To make a long story short, the Hmong people sided with the US during the Vietnam War, and after US troops left Southeast Asia, the Hmong were persecuted by the governments of Laos and Vietnam. Many Hmong people became refugees settling in Thailand, the US and other places. But Hmong people still remain in Southeast Asia. Their plight is still horrific according to Sommers. Here is a quote from the press release for the film:
Over thirty years and a generation later the Hmong-in-hiding are attacked, chased, raped and killed by Laotian soldiers. Those who surrender face an uncertain fate. “Hunted like Animals”demonstrates that the Hmong-in-hiding in the Laotian military training areas are going through. They endure genocide, the reason why many escape to Thailand, and become refugees. This story of human rights violations on the Hmong-in-hiding must be told.
And for a story to be fully told, it must be listened to. I hope that folks will make an effort to come out and see this film so that we can better understand the situation in Laos, and by extension our Hmong neighbors here. The shared experience and the discussion period are an important part of building our community.
If you would like some previews of the film, Sommer’s site has a number of clips, which you can find here.
See you at UWMC at 7 pm in the theater.