The Betrayal

Filmed over 23 years, The Betrayal is the dir­ect­orial debut of renowned cine­ma­to­grapher Ellen Kuras in a remark­able col­lab­or­a­tion with the film’s subject and co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath.

During the Vietnam War, the United States gov­ern­ment waged its own secret war in the neigh­bouring country of Laos. When the US withdrew, thou­sands of Laotians who fought along­side American forces were left behind to face impris­on­ment or exe­cu­tion. One family, the Phrasavaths, made the cour­ageous decision to escape to America. Hoping to find safety, they dis­covered a dif­ferent kind of war.

Epic in scope yet dev­ast­at­ingly intimate, fea­turing an exquisite score by Academy Award®–winning composer Howard Shore, The Betrayal is a test­a­ment to the resi­lient bonds of family and an aston­ishing tale of survival.

2007 / USA / Colour / in English & Lao with English subtitles / 1.78 anamorphic presentation / Dolby Digital 5.1 / 92 minutes

Directors: Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath

Nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary

Winner of an Emmy Award (Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking)

"Gripping" - J.Hoberman, The Village Voice

“Packs an emotional wallop” - David Ansen, Newsweek

"An engrossing heartbreaker" - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe


  • 1.78 anamorphic presentation
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
  • Audio Commentary by Director Ellen Kuras and Executive Producer Cara Mertes
  • Q&A interview with Director Ellen Kuras and Co-Director Thavisouk Phrasavath
  • Conversation with Director Ellen Kuras and Composer Howard Shore
  • Archival Footage and Selected Newreels
  • Additional montage footage of Laos
  • Excerpts of Thavisouk's First Interview
  • Omitted Scene
  • Thavisouk Returns To Laos
  • Photo Gallery and Filmmakers Biographies
  • Theatrical Trailer

Product Number: KNS 50177

UPC Number: 8-81751-50177-6