PACIFICA PERFORMANCE SHOWCASE
AIRDATE: 08/28/09, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
HOST: Donna Walker
Guest: Tiana Alexandra-Silliphant, “Child of War, Bride of God, Widow of Peace.”
Tiana Alexandra-Silliphant, is a multi-faceted performer and filmmaker. Trained in martial arts by Bruce Lee, who introduced her to her late husband, Oscar-winning screenwriter, Sterling Silliphant (“In the Heat of the Night,” “Route 66,” “The Naked City,” among others), Tiana went on to star in a number of Hollywood films, but her search for identity and for a deeper meaning to her life led her back to her roots in Vietnam. Her highly acclaimed film “From Hollywood to Hanoi,” (executive produced by Oliver Stone, with whom she formed the non-profit IndoChina Arts Foundation) explored her return to the land she left in 1966 at the age of 5, when her family came to the United States. The film begins with an insightful quote:
“I am neither a Communist nor a Nationalist. I am Vietnamese. Is it not enough? For thousands of years,that’s what I have been. Is it not enough? Don’t you think that’s enough? Who Am I?” - By Tru Vu
Told as a child that if she didn’t eat her vegetables, she’d be send to Hanoi, her journey reveals a North Vietnam which defies expectations. We discuss her encounters with those left behind in the wake of the fall of Saigon (including her uncle who had been held in a prison camp), her confrontation with Robert McNamara, her pop music career (managed by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones), her Hollywood life with Stirling Silliphant, her current association with world-renowned playwright Christopher Hampton and Altourism’s humanitarian trips to Vietnam. From the Amer-Asians left behind (“America is the land of our fathers; they left us behind in the dust.”), to her family’s ambivalence about her return to her roots, (“The bird turns its head towards its nest before dying.”), Tiana follows the advice of her Aunt (“You go out and you come back with a basketful of courage, wisdom and heart.”) and takes us on a fascinating journey.
Copies of the show can be ordered through the Pacifica Radio Archives at www.pacificaradioarchives.org.