Death of a Shaman

Genre: Documentary
Ethnicity: Thai American
Themes: Culture (Religion), Family and Intergenerational Issues,
Immigrant/Refugee Experience/Diaspora, Individual Profiles & Personal Stories
Date: 2003
Running Time: 56 min.
Director: Richard Hall
Producer: Fahm Fong Seeyang
For home viewing:
KVIE Public Television
Purchase (DVD & VHS): $24.95

Educational Copies:
Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA)
College/Institution: DVD or VHS $195 Purchase/$75 Rental
K-12/Public Library/Community Group: DVD or VHS $125 Purchase/$40 Rental
In Death of a Shaman, Fahm Saeyang responds to her father's unsettled life and death by taking a reverse journey to examine the heartbreaking path he took from respectability to hopelessness — and from Southeast Asia to America — in a heartfelt personal mission to understand his tragic story.

This dual journey helps Death of a Shaman examine with painful honesty how Fahm's Mien immigrant family suffered through a 20 year ordeal of poverty, racism, religions, drugs, jail, and the murder of a family member.

It is a chronicle of a darker side of the pursuit of the American dream that affected many of the 40,000 Mien who came from a primitive life in the mountains of Southeast Asia to America.  Death of a Shaman is also a moving account of Fahm's need to understand her father's pain, and a desire to figure out what will placate his troubled spirit and her own. (Courtesy of the official Death of a Shaman website)

Evans, Will.  "A personal journey: A filmmaker chronicles her Mien father’s path from dignity to decline — finding peace for herself and his spirit."  Sacramento Bee.  May 19, 2003.

Supplementary Material
Death of a Shaman
The official website for the film includes filmmaker bios, filmmaker Q&A, production gallery photos, and more.
Asian American Filmography ExEAS