Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino' is more than film for Hmong

At least one group of Hmong Americans gives thumbs up to "Gran Torino," Clint Eastwood's urban drama and the first major Hollywood portrayal of Hmong families.

The film revolves around a bigoted Korean War veteran who takes on a gang-infested neighborhood. The movie scored well with a group of Sacramento Hmong, invited to see the local premiere Friday, for accurately reflecting challenges they face in cities throughout America.

But many of the 16 Hmong viewers, from ages 12 to 87, said the movie missed an opportunity to deliver critical context: It didn't adequately explain why Hmong refugees wound up in the United States in the first place.

"Maybe they should have included news clips of the war against the communists back in Laos, how the Hmong escaped to avoid being killed and the refugee camps in Thailand," said Crystal Vang, a Sacramento-area Hmong activist.

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