Directed by Emmy Award Winner David Grabias
They fled Laos after fighting for the U.S. as our allies in the Vietnam War, and settled in California, living the American Dream. Nearly 40 years later, 10 Hmong elders are arrested by the FBI, accused of trying to buy arms so they could return to their homeland and overthrow the government.
OPERATION POPCORN tells their epic story from the perspective of Locha Thao, the alleged ringleader. When a video is smuggled out of Laos showing that the present-day Communist government continues to persecute the Hmong still living there, Locha lobbies the UN for aid, and discovers few politicians care about stragglers from a decades-old conflict. But then a shady arms dealer contacts Locha, offering a way for the Hmong in Laos to defend themselves. Locha believes that he has been sent by the CIA, and falls into a web of deceit and intrigue.
Showing how the aftershocks of war reverberate across continents and generations, OPERATION POPCORN is a true-crime tale of an opportunistic community activist transformed into an international terrorist.