Blue Collar and Buddha was a documentary about the influx of Laotian and other Asian immigrants due to the Vietnam War and other wars in Asia at the time. The documentary shows perspectives of immigrants, Americans, and priests. It details the Laotian immigrant experience when they came to America. Focused on Rockford, Illinois the film follows the lives and experiences of those that immigrated. At the beginning of the film we saw the reactions of some Americans at a bar, I found it to be quite disturbing their opening remarks because we saw the anti-immigrant sentiment but they also used various racial slurs that were disturbing. It was obvious that they were not accepting of the Laotian community. In one of the news reports they talked about how the Buddhist temple had been bombed twice; it was shocking (but at the same time it wasnt) that the citizens living in Rockford had such a negative reaction to the presence of Laotians in the community.
The film also talks about religion quite heavily, I had not been too familiar with Buddhism and its practices, however, after watching the documentary I learned about the traditions of the new year and it showed how it was different from Christianity. In the Buddhist culture there is an emphasis on the presence of ancestral spirits and evil spirits, this is different from Christianity because they do not believe in ancestral spirits and the presence of dead family members. I also found it sad in a way how accepting the Laotians were of Christianity and its culture (which is considered becoming American) while they were treated so unfairly and were discriminated against.