Thao’s Library


Saturday, Nov. 14 at 4:00pm
Webster U./Moore

Forty years after the fall of Saigon, a young Vietnamese woman is among the Vietnam War's uncounted casualties. Born near fields where American planes sprayed Agent Orange, Thao lives with severe physical deformities. Halfway around the world, a woman in New York is struggling to cope after the sudden death of her famed younger sister. In the midst of her crippling depression, Elizabeth is shown a black-and-white photograph from a friend’s recent trip abroad. The image haunts Elizabeth. It shows Thao sitting in a wheelchair outside a shed that houses pig feed and fertilizer -- and books. Despite her disabilities, Thao has set up a makeshift library for children in her village. The photographer who captured the image had asked, "If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?" Thao replied, "Three hundred dollars, so I could buy more books." Through this simple request, Thao and Elizabeth are brought together, forging an unlikely sisterhood that transcends language and culture. A well-received live-theater version of “Thao’s Library” appeared in St. Louis in 2013 as part of Mustard Seed Theatre’s Purpose Project.

U.S./Vietnam, 2015, 90 min., Vietnamese & English

Directed by

Elizabeth Van Meter

Film Category

Asian Focus Interfaith Competition Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Women in Film Spotlight International Spotlight

With director/subject Van Meter.

Sponsored by

Saint Louis University