Pieces of a Dream

Year Released
Film Length(s)
30 mins
Remote video URL


A lyrical, expressive film history of Asian Pacific Americans on the Sacramento River delta.

Featured review

…PIECES OF A DREAM does not simply catalogue hardships, but also depicts evolving forms of social affiliation within the domestic and commercial enclaves of the [Sacramento] Delta region.
Joshua Glick
Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958-1977


Immigrant farm laborers — Chinese, Japanese, and the Filipino manongs — came to America through Angel Island to work the land. PIECES OF A DREAM tells the story of Asian Pacific American life and history on the Sacramento River delta. The stories of Asian Americn immigrant laborers are told through a montage of voices from the past, adapted from Victor Nee and Brett de Bary’s classic tome Longtime Californ’. Delta life is captured in lush, pastel colors representative of the Visual Communications style and augmented with the music of famed jazz-fusion band Hiroshima. A visit to the Locke Historic District, a town founded by Chinese immigrants shows viewers the sharp realities of the present: The crumbled wooden Chinatown looks like a quaint tourist landmark, but is revealed as low-income housing for the Delta’s poor; a Japanese American farmer talks about the pressures of the large agribusiness on small farmers.

PIECES OF A DREAM is written and directed by Visual Communications co-founder Eddie Wong (WONG SINSAANG, CHINATOWN 2-STEP), and is one of four productions that are regarded as “Visual Communications Classics”for their incisive, comprehensive portraits of the Asian Pacific American experience.

Director Commentary

PIECES OF A DREAM is a look at the waves of Asian immigrants who settled in the Sacramento River Delta from the 1880s to the 1970s. Like a dream, the film offers fragments of stories: a history of the Chinese who built the levees and mucked out the marshes to create rich farmlands, the plight of elderly Filipino farm workers stranded in rural poverty and the hardscrabble life of a Japanese American farming family. Connecting all the stories is the river shimmering in its unrelenting journey to the sea.

— Eddie Wong, August 2, 2018

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