Directed by Kang Vang
In the summer of 1985, when a fearless Hmong teen discovers a secret map to a mythical dragon dwelling in a mysterious and forgotten lake, he and his friends venture out on a quest that leads them on a journey filled with danger and excitement. 1985 is undeniably funny and light-hearted, as the spunky teens encounter some bad dudes, break dance battles, and run-ins with memorable characters along the rad and thrilling adventure. However, there is also a soberer and cautionary undercurrent of the film, which tells the story of Hmong-Americans as newer immigrants in the 1980s faced with prejudice and discrimination, of a land of young people who grow up in a community fragmented by racism and bullying. Nevertheless, the Hmong people are ready to fight for a better future, to dream, to sing, to dance, to laugh out loud, and to unite in the power of true friendship and the strength of love.
1985 is the 10-year anniversary of the fall of Laos to Communism. With the film, director Kang Vang has the Hmong teenagers confronted with chaos and frustrations setting against the daily crisis threatening their community. In a comic tone, he tries to explore where the Hmong-American community was 10 years after the fall, and how these same issues are still impacting people of color in our society today. It is a whimsical, profound, and searingly funny paean to the perseverance and indestructibility of the immigrants.
Screening made possible by: Chinatown Youth Initiatives