Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds
Between Two Worlds

Between Two Worlds

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    • Directed by: Taggart Siegel
    • Produced by: Taggart Siegel & Dwight Conquergood

    Released: 1984
    Running Time: 27 min
    Subjects: Anthropology, Southeast Asian Studies

    BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: The Hmong Shaman in America powerfully exposes the struggle of Hmong refugees in America. This classic documentary traces the lives of three Hmong families displaced thousands of miles from their villages in Northern Laos and alienated in American cities. Renowned anthropologist Dwight Conquergood narrates the rich history of shamanic rituals and explains the similarity between Hmong beliefs and those of Aboriginal people of the Americas. Rare and dramatic scenes reveal traditional ceremonies and psychological challenges faced by the Hmong as they strive to maintain their culture. A missionary's attempt to convert a Hmong family to Christianity highlights the pressures confronting refugees adapting to a new environment. The effects of their trauma are extreme in the Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome, a mysterious phenomenon that causes Hmong men to die in their sleep. The ancient ways of the Hmong are in danger of being lost forever. This riveting documentary presents uncensored and unforgettable glimpses into a culture caught between two worlds.


    • Winner, UCLA Film & Folklore Fest
    • Winner, Frank O'Connor Award Academy of Motion Picture
    • Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film & Video Festival
    • Winner, MOAS, International Film Fest, Rochester, NY
    • Winner, Festival of Illinois Film & Video Artists