by Peter O'Neill and Louisa Schein
The documentary comes in two parts. The first part entitled "The Best Place to Live: A Personal Story of Hmong Refugees from Laos" produced in 1981 in Providence, RI. It is a 55-minute portrait of Hmong who settled in Providence, documenting Hmong weddings, funeral rituals, soccer games and a rock band, as well as experiences in schools and workplaces while exploring ambivalence about life in the U.S. and a longing for pre-war Laos.The second part is entitled "Better Place: Hmong of Rhode Island a Generation After." Produced in 2011, this documentary is a 52-minute sequel in which four families from the first film continue to develop strategies for life in the United States. This film also follows the changing relationships between Hmong Americans and their homeland, including return visits to Southeast Asia.