At a young age, Sokly ‘Don Bonus’ Ny and his family leave Cambodia for the United States, where they are placed in a housing project for South-East Asian refugees. At age 18, Don is about to graduate from high school and reflects on his turbulent daily life, in which racism, violence and family problems abound. In different episodes we see Don’s family treated badly by neighbours, we see his younger brother going to jail and we witness Don’s complex relationship with his mother. “This is reality, not a movie,” Don’s brother says.
A.K.A. Don Bonus was shot and edited in 1995 by Ny himself, after producer Spencer Nakasako worked together with the Cambodjan teenager on a previous, summer-holiday film project. With a camcorder in hand, Don Bonus reflects on his life as a refugee in contemporary American society. An important portret that is as relevant today as it was then.
Filmmaker Miko Revereza selected this film for IFFR Unleashed, which served as an inspiration for his own film No Data Plan, also available on the platform.