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critics consensus

An emotionally wrenching portrayal of a family reunion that doesn't turn out as expected. Read critic reviews

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Critic Reviews for American Experience

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (16)

Audience Reviews for American Experience

  • Oct 02, 2012
    An Amer-Asian woman travels to Vietnam to meet her long-lost mother. Aside from a few forays into a discussion of cultural and racial differences -- the Vietnamese family's request for money and the Tennessee family's racism -- there is no discernible difference between this documentary and an episode of Maury Povich. It has all the melodrama of daytime talk with very little of the thematic sophistication one might expect from film, especially a film that won at Sundance. Also, I found all the characters unlikable. Heidi lacked any characteristic aside from a plastic smile, and the family was all jubilation. And when the Vietnamese family "turned on" Heidi, I failed to sympathize with either party. Overall, Maury is the same but shorter, so watch it instead; just make sure you don't get a paternity episode instead of a reunion episode.
    Jim H Super Reviewer

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