Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong creates an intimate portrait of her father, a man fifty years her senior. In this documentary, we explore the bonds of the father-daughter relationship and place themes of growing older, immigration and racism in the context of “living history.” Paul Loong talks of his experiences as a POW in Japan and his subsequent quest to become an American. We discover why, despite much suffering, “Every Day Is a Holiday.”
From the Filmmaker:
My dad did not talk to me much about his struggles. Then, I discovered a secret diary my father kept while he was a teenage prisoner-of-war in Japan. This film documents a story of triumph over adversity, showing major historical events through a deeply personal lens using interviews, rare archival footage, and my father’s wartime diary. Each chapter in this layered story begins with a quote from my father’s diary, visually rendered in his elegant penmanship.
The film structure mirrors the old-fashioned television and radio “chapter plays.” Like a real-life Zelig, my father was there: from sailing to Iran as a merchant seaman to driving a tank over exploding kim chee vats in Korea during the Korean War. My father believed that since he survived the horrors that surrounded him as a POW, then every day held potential for joy, making every day a holiday.
“Every Day is a Holiday” is intended for public television, educational and international distribution, running a standard length of 56:40. As an outgrowth of the film, I will promote intergenerational dialogue by soliciting videos about wartime and immigration using interactive media. The film is being shown on public television stations in the United States and will be available on DVD. For showtimes, please type in your zip code here.
“Every Day is a Holiday” is fiscally sponsored by Women Make Movies, has received grants from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund and has a production agreement with the Independent Television Service.