Mai Khoi & The Dissidents

Joe Piscatella

Mai Khoi is one of Vietnam’s biggest pop stars – and then she starts speaking her mind. While the authorities try to silence her, her activism reaches a worldwide audience. During the recording of her political album Dissent, she feels she may not be safe in Vietnam anymore.

As the daughter of a music teacher, Mai Khoi’s life was filled with music from birth. She became hugely popular with her breakthrough-song ‘Vietnam’, about the beauty of her home country. But more and more, Mai Khoi uses her position of stardom to speak out about a range of social issues such as women’s rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech. Soon, the police start raiding her concerts, and the government bans her from performing.

Director Joe Piscatella (Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower) follows Mai Khoi during the recording of her album Dissent which, she says, ‘I know will make the government angry’. As her political activism heightens her international profile, she makes plans to leave the country before the album is released.

Mai Khoi & The Dissidents has been selected for the Activist competition and will be screened at Movies that Matter Festival 2020, where Mai Khôi will be present as a special guest. 


Joe Piscatella
Country of production
United States
70 minutes
Spoken language
English, Vietnamese
World Sales
Ro*co Films International