THE GOOD DAUGHTER is a cinema verite portrait of Azhe, a young woman from the Mekong Delta who moves to a foreign country to marry a complete stranger in order to support her impoverished family back home. Like many families of South Vietnamese veterans who fought alongside American troops in the Vietnam War and have since faced decades of debilitating retribution, Azhe’s marriageability is her family’s best hope to stave off destitution. For Azhe, this means living in a small fishing village in Taiwan with a crippled husband, the two adorable children they have together, and an abusive mother-in-law.
Filmed over the course of three years, THE GOOD DAUGHTER offers an intimate, unflinching account of Azhe as she confronts discrimination in Taiwan for being a foreign bride and works two back-breaking jobs to support both of her families — all the while fighting back against feeling victimized by her utter lack of options. In the process, the film bears witness to an essential contradiction in the lives of migrant women like Azhe: As her children grow older and their financial needs increase, can Azhe continue to devote herself unconditionally to her struggling family back home, or must she now focus solely on the new family she created in Taiwan? And, in the process, how can she realize her dream that her daughters might have a more hopeful future than her own?