by Qingzhi Zhang, MVA 2015
Hmongness is a documentary that shows the cultural life of a Hmong community in Long Beach. The filmmaker goes into the Hmong Association of Long Beach to find out what “being American Hmong” looks like, and how these Hmong preserve their culture and maintain their identity. Following three subjects from different generations, the film reveals that even though they are all trying to preserve their culture, they do so by highlighting different cultural symbols. While the elders in this community prefer traditional symbols, such as the instrument known as Qeej and the needlework known as Paj Ntaub, youths prefer newer, more fashionable ones—modernized versions of traditional dancing and clothes.
Running time: 30 minutes