HAO ARE YOU wins First Steps Award 2023 and opens in cinemas on February 15, 2024

His mother blames communism, his uncle blames an inheritance dispute, the rest lapse into silence. Director Dieu Hao Do explores the fragmentation of his family. The American war in Vietnam scattered them across three continents. After the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, more than 1.5 million people had fled the communist regime, many of them – including the director’s family – belonging to the Chinese minority. Almost 50 years after their flight, contact between the seven family members has all but broken off. How have traumas from persecution and violence inscribed themselves in the bodies and souls of the survivors and those of their children? What has life in exile done to them over the years? Is communism to blame for the fact that they no longer speak to each other?

Jury statement for the FIRST STEPS Award:

“Do you want to hit me?” the uncle asks excitedly on the phone. “When I ask my family about the past, they cry a lot or scold or keep quiet. They only agree on one thing: blame communism!”. Dieu Hao Do wants to know what divided the family, and in HAO ARE YOU he takes us on his vast, intimate journey. Hao begins with his mother in Germany and travels further afield to scattered relatives in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the USA. In vivid, multi-layered images and with an emotionally powerful musical score, we enter a shimmering foreign world that won’t let us go.