Thương - Cee Pham

2021 | Documentary Short

A conversation between a mother and daughter, Thương is a story of a Vietnamese mother's journey of chasing the American Dream and the name she had to sacrificed. 

Created by Cee Pham.


          An archival documentary on a Vietnamese Immigrant, “Thuong” highlights the struggle of Cee Pham’s mom through this conversational style storytelling. As the eldest child of six children, Thương Trương, born in 1973, struggled to keep her family up float at the age of fifteen. Her struggles only grew after her father died when she was 17 years old. To provide a better life for her family and escape poverty, she left her county, her culture, and her name for the American Dream.

          Thương Trương is my mother, and she is one of the strongest people I know. Like water, she weaves her way through life despite all its obstacles. I have seen her struggle. I have seen her work countless hours, and I still do. The only time I see her at peace is in the kitchen where she never fails to make a hot meal for her family every night. I have seen her struggle to speak an entirely new language. I have seen her let go of her aspirations and dreams to provide a future for her children. I have seen her release her culture and assimilate to American culture in order to be accepted amongst them. She even let go of her own name. To this day, Americans know her as Tina, but I want them to know her by her actual name: Thương.

         Her story is one of the many stories of immigrants trying to find their way into a better life for themselves and for their families. Her story and so many others should be uplifted and heard, for they are the foundation of the American Dream. They deserved to be heard.

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