Return to Video

Donut People

  • 0:01 - 0:06
    ♪ Cambodian music ♪
  • 0:22 - 0:30
    [DONUT PEOPLE]
  • 0:30 - 0:32
    [Samoeurn Phan]
  • 0:32 - 0:35
    [Affectionately known as
    Pou Sam (Uncle Sam)]
  • 0:35 - 0:39
    [Sam has opened over 20 donut shops
    for Cambodian families across Houston.]
  • 0:39 - 0:42
    (Uncle Sam) Well, when I came here in 1994
  • 0:42 - 0:47
    to eat one donut you didn't realize
    how much work goes into one donut
  • 0:48 - 0:51
    until you actually go into
    doing the donuts.
  • 0:53 - 0:57
    You know, it takes quite a bit
    just to make one donut.
  • 0:58 - 1:01
    I start off by finding a location.
  • 1:01 - 1:02
    If I find a location,
  • 1:02 - 1:08
    I get a family that needs a donut shop
    to go to look at the location,
  • 1:08 - 1:11
    and if they like it,
    we negotiate the price,
  • 1:11 - 1:14
    and if the price is right,
    I build it for them and turn them the key.
  • 1:15 - 1:18
    You know, most of them
    already know how to make donuts.
  • 1:18 - 1:20
    They work for a family member,
  • 1:20 - 1:24
    you know, they've already worked
    for like two, three or five years
  • 1:24 - 1:27
    to save up the money
    to start up the business.
  • 1:28 - 1:30
    [Chandara Meas
    Owner of Snowflake Donuts, Galveston]
  • 1:30 - 1:33
    [Cambodian Immigrant]
  • 1:35 - 1:37
    (Chandara Meas) That's what I'm saying,
    when I came to the States,
  • 1:37 - 1:41
    I don't have no relatives in here,
    I don't speak that much English,
  • 1:41 - 1:43
    I gotta start to learn English
  • 1:43 - 1:45
    and start to work to support myself...
  • 1:45 - 1:48
    and I don't have chance
    to go back to college,
  • 1:48 - 1:51
    so I end up at a donut shop.
  • 1:51 - 1:54
    Most Cambodians who take us,
  • 1:54 - 1:58
    they own a donut shop,
    they run a donut business...
  • 1:59 - 2:02
    yeah, you know, it's hard to do it,
  • 2:03 - 2:06
    not many people want to do that job
    as I'm doing right now.
  • 2:07 - 2:09
    [Countless Cambodians were tortured]
  • 2:09 - 2:12
    [and more than a million were killed]
  • 2:12 - 2:13
    [under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime.]
  • 2:13 - 2:15
    [More than a million Cambodians fled
    and became refugees.]
  • 2:15 - 2:18
    From 1975 to 1979,
  • 2:18 - 2:19
    there's Khmer Rouge ran by Pol Pot.
  • 2:19 - 2:22
    At that time I was 10 years old...
  • 2:22 - 2:25
    I still remember the torture,
  • 2:25 - 2:30
    lot of people died
    by starving and sickness...
  • 2:30 - 2:33
    most of [the time]
    they were killing people.
  • 2:34 - 2:35
    That was a hard time
  • 2:35 - 2:39
    and that was the worst thing
    that happened in the world.
  • 2:40 - 2:47
    Most Cambodians escaped from the war
    in 1981after the Khmer Rouge regime,
  • 2:47 - 2:53
    and when they started to come here,
    people don't speak that much English,
  • 2:53 - 2:58
    so that's why they started
    working at donut shops
  • 2:58 - 3:00
    because most of them what they do
    are family business --
  • 3:02 - 3:04
    This is my wife's nephew.
  • 3:04 - 3:06
    He just came to the USA last year.
  • 3:07 - 3:10
    He came in a special case
    that they call "Lottery Visa".
  • 3:10 - 3:13
    He's a lucky one
    that won a lottery green card.
  • 3:17 - 3:22
    The business we just opened--
    it is kind of slow, it's brand new.
  • 3:22 - 3:27
    Hopefully, we can stay for a long time
    until we get some profit...
  • 3:27 - 3:31
    to take care of my family, my kids...
  • 3:31 - 3:33
    go to school, go to college...
  • 3:34 - 3:36
    I have a beautiful kid.
  • 3:39 - 3:42
    It's like, if you work for a company,
  • 3:42 - 3:45
    you have a different schedule
    than the donut people.
  • 3:45 - 3:49
    So the donut people,
    we wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 am,
  • 3:49 - 3:54
    and we'll be done by 12:00 or 1:00 pm,
    and take a couple-of-hours-nap,
  • 3:54 - 3:58
    and, you know, get together
    and then, go to sleep, and wake up,
  • 3:58 - 4:00
    and go to make some more donuts!
  • 4:02 - 4:07
    (man singing Karaoke in Cambodian)
  • 4:11 - 4:14
    [Tao Ngo Vietnamese Restaurant
    North Houston]
  • 4:14 - 4:16
    [Cambodian Karaoke Party]
Title:
Donut People
Description:

This short food film tells the story of Cambodian immigrants in Texas, where Cambodians own an estimated 95% of the donut shops. Some of the film's subjects escaped torture and persecution in Cambodia at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Interviews with immigrants and their children offer insights into the culture. The film wraps up with a look at the exciting new style of Cambodian donut shop/coffee house with gourmet Asian donuts and hip baristas.

more » « less
Video Language:
English
Team:
Eating With My Five Senses
Project:
Food Film Festival - New York 2019
Duration:
11:46
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Jenny Lam-Chowdhury edited English subtitles for Donut People
Show all

English subtitles

Revisions Compare revisions