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Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

by S. Leo Chiang

An idealistic rookie challenges politics polarized by race and partisanship.

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What happens when the naiveté of a political rookie clashes with the realities of racial politics of the American South and ultra-partisan struggles in Washington DC? MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON follows the unexpected journey of Rep. Joseph Cao--the first Vietnamese American elected to the US Congress, the only non-white House Republican of the 111th Congress, and the only Republican to vote for President Obama's Health Care Reform Bill. Will Cao keep his integrity and idealism intact?

Listen to NPR All Things Considered's interview with director S. Leo Chiang about the film.

quoteThe film would seem to lend itself easily to use in Ethnic Studies courses as well as Political Science courses. Also, highly recommended for use in civics and government classes as a thought provoking catalyst sure to ignite debate over the problems and pitfalls of our two-party system.
Gisele Tanasse, University of California Berkeley
Educational Media Reviews Online
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quoteCongress’s freshman class can learn from PBS’s new one-hour documentary, Mr. Cao Goes to Washington.
Patrick Gavin
full review

quoteLively and engaging... S. Leo Chiang's documentary is an engrossing look at the bitter divisiveness of the present U.S. political landscape. It should stir timely debate.
Dennis Harvey
full review

quoteWitty and informative! Mr. Cao Goes to Washington offers a close up and personal account of the short career of the only Vietnamese American to have served in Congress. The documentary is a valuable addition to the growing collection of films about the Vietnamese American experience.
Ysa Le, Executive Director - Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA)

quoteMr. Cao Goes to Washington is a riveting documentary about a Vietnamese immigrant struggling to come to terms with his personal conviction and political choices. As we watch former New Orleans Congressman Joseph Cao's story unfold, we are forced to reevaluate our own position on racial divides, class differences, and partisan politics.
Dr. Linda Trinh Vo, Associate Professor, Department of Asian American Studies, University of California, Irvine and author of Mobilizing an Asian American Community

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  • INSPIRATION AWARD, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • AUDIENCE AWARD, New Orleans Film Festival
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
  • San Diego Asian Film Festival
  • Fort Lauderdale Film Festival
  • Vancouver Asian Film Festival
  • New York Asian International Film Festival
  • Wisconsin Film Festival
  • Seattle Asian American Film Festival

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Mr. Cao Goes to Washington

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