Orange County's Dust of Life [Bui Doi]

Dust of Life Actor Devon Duy Nguyen with Director Le-Van Kiet.
Photo © Daniel C. Tsang 2007
On our next show, we talk with the director of a new film that will the showing at the closing night of the Vietnamese International Film Festival in Orange County. VIFF is in its third edition: Featured this year are five films from Vietnam as well as films from the Vietnamese diaspora the world over.

On Monday, we talk with film director Le-Van Kiet about his film, Dust of Life (Bui Doi) about why he chose to bring to the screen the fraught lives of Vietnamese youth in 1990s Orange County. We also chat with the lead actor in his film, Devon Duy Nguyen, who plays Johnny, a troubled youth in a gang. [Devon Nugyen, it turns out, could not make the show.]

Director Le-Van was born in Vietnam and came in the second wave of boat people to the U.S. in 1982 when he was 4 years old. He was awarded a grant for best student film while at film school at UCLA. Dust of Life is his debut feature film.

Actor Nguyen was born in Minnesota and later moved to Orange County, where he has been a DJ in Hollwyood and the OC since he was 16. He performs in a live music band, Almost Home. A first-time actor, he is a student at Orange Coast community College.

The film includes a sequence where a local policeman takes a photograph of Johnny even after he protested. The struggle over the civil rights of youth photographed by OC police in the 1990s involved AWARE, the Alliance Working for Asian Rights and Empowerment, which was co-founded by Subversity's show host the same year (1993) the show started broadcasting.

The show airs from 9-10 a.m. on 16 April 2007 on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Irvine, California, and via the Internet on

Dust of Life will be screened on Sunday, April 22, 2007 at UCI, HIB 100, at 7 p.m., as VIFF's closing night film. For more info., see the VIFF website:

Film site:

Film Trailer:

AWARE and the struggle to stop police mugbooks:

Thanx for listening!


Daniel C. Tsang
Host, Subversity "What's behind and beyond the Orange Curtain"
Mondays 9-10 a.m. on 88.9 fm,
KUCI talk page:
KUCI Full-text Archive:

Daniel Tsang, KUCI, PO Box 4362, Irvine CA 92616, USA
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