A profound and heart-warming documentary, Thao’s Library tells the extraordinary story of two young women who come together from across the globe. Thao, a disabled woman from South Vietnam, and Elizabeth, from New York, discover friendship, solace, and purpose in each other. Elizabeth desperately seeks meaning in her life after the death of her sister. By chance, she sees a black and white photo of Thao in a wheelchair, and becomes obsessed with meeting her. Yearning for escape from the void left by her sister’s death, Elizabeth decides to travel to Vietnam.
Once in Vietnam, Elizabeth learns that Thao is among many other Vietnamese children who were born with deformities due to the toxic defoliant and herbicide known as Agent Orange. The chemical was employed throughout the Vietnamese countryside by the American military during the Vietnam War. Elizabeth grows close to Thao as she explores the beautiful local scenery and learns about the lives of the villagers. Thao wants nothing more than to build a library for the children of the village. Although she has little money and is still overcome with personal grief, Elizabeth becomes determined to help her “angel Thao.” Drawn together by purpose, resilience, and love, the two embark on a life-changing journey.
Elizabeth Van Meter / Vietnam, USA / 2015 / 88 min
English and Vietnamese (with Subtitles)
***Preceding the film will be the following short(s):
Simple Things (Những Điều Bình Dị)
Uong Ngoc Tien / Vietnam / 2015 / 26 min
In a situation she could never have imagined herself, Lanh finds hope and community with other women living in the same detention center.
Vietnamese (with English subtitles)
Viewer discretion is advised: strong language and violence