(Study Guide) All Points of the Compass
All Points of the Compass is a testament to the enduring bonds of family. Against a backdrop of uncertainty and political instability, Tran Van Lam, South Vietnam's Foreign Minister during the Vietnam War, fathered nine remarkable children who have set out to all points of the globe.
This documentary chronicles the Lam diaspora, exploring the key socio-political events against which this one family's history unfolds. It is ultimately a very moving tribute to a man who endured great losses and disappointments with remarkable dignity and integrity. His powerful legacy is to be seen in his adult children, with their ongoing commitment to the need for decency and personal responsibility in the world.
The stories circle around migration, assimilation, inter-generational loyalties and conflicts, and multiculturalism. Each member of the Lam family contributes their own particular perspective on the nature of identity and family, in a documentary that makes rich and poetic use of home movie footage, newsreels and interviews.