Go To Sleep (“Bai Non”)
Khon is a Lao-American refugee who is struggling to keep his family intact and his bloodline alive. He and his wife, Jai, have struggled to have children for years. The latest miscarriage has left her so devastated that she’s left their home to be with her mother. Now under a major deadline, Khon locks himself away in order to deliver his work on time. Go To Sleep is the story of Lao American man’s struggle with failure, loss and the ghosts that haunt him. As a refugee, growing up with two cultures, his worlds intersect and he is forced to find peace.
The mission of the project is to share a story from my perspective as part of the 1.5th generation of Lao-American refugees. I’ve seen people in our community escape the terror of Laos after the Vietnam War only to succumb to the pressures of the western world. I struggle to understand our traditional cultures as I navigate this new intersectionality of cross cultures that has naturally occurred and my place in all of it. Ghosts or phi are such a huge part of Lao culture. So much of my childhood was explained away and so many stories of my parents past involved ghosts. When I learned about SUDS and how it affected primarily SE Asian men, including Laotians, I was immediately intrigued by it and even more intrigued by how it couldn’t be explained by the western world.
Phet is a mother, wife, sister, daughter, writer and performer. She was born in Laos and entered the US as a refugee when she was only two years old. Her parents raised her in Colorado determined to steer her towards a career as a doctor or a lawyer. Much to their continued bewilderment, she ended up studying Literature and Writing at the George Washington University along with classical theater at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. After graduating, she made her way to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the arts, acting in commercials before landing roles in film and television. After starting a family in 2009, she began to work more behind the camera, reading and developing screenplays for production companies as well as studying editing, photography, and directing. Her essay “Mother Love”, dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault, is featured in Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora. She hopes to shed some light on growing up as part of the 1.5th generation of immigrants by creating work for a populous that often gets overlooked and under represented in media.