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Painted Nails
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Painted Nails
A Vietnamese Salon Worker Fights for Safe Cosmetics

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Comments (36)

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Paul

I deeply appreciate the candid and unflinching look you presented of the salon. It really brought to light the challenges of both Van and what happens in the salon itself, which—as place people often associate with “pampering”—could be tempting to frame as fun and unserious. Loved too how the ...Read more

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Dianne

Thank you Paul for your thoughtful comments. Van our lead character continues to advocate for safety in the salon industry. Her health continues to reveal the affects of working with the harmful affects of the chemicals. Despite what is not working in the salon industry Van loves her clients ...Read more

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Brian

Honestly stumbled upon this as an eye-opening accident. My dad's side of the family runs multiple nail salons all across the United States, employing many who are family from Vietnam for sponsorship/work permits, and as a way for us all to have a family business and legacy.

This ...Read more

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Dianne

Thank you Brian we appreciate your comments.

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Rania

Fantastic doco. Similar issues affecting immigrant workers in these industries here in Australia as well.

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Dianne

Thanks for your post ! Hoping our documentary raises awareness for people to speak out against toxic chemicals used in cosmetics!

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Eric

Excellent film! I use it in my classes at SF State University. Great for humanizing women, families, small businesses and addressing a critical public policy issue facing many immigrant women workers and communities.

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Dianne

Thanks Eric we hope our documentary's message in Painted Nails helps to bring awareness to the public about the toxic cosmetic industry and the reform that is greatly needed to safeguard everyone's health!

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Luke

Very nicely crafted documentary! As the plot develops it tells a very human story that gives a great insight in an industry that is usually hidden in plain sight. It also shows a very human side of immigration and its challenges. Very enjoyable to watch!

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Dianne

Thanks Luke it was inspirational to witness Van's transformation

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Liam

Great documentary all around.

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Dianne

Thanks Liam

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Jonathan

Very engaging on many levels. Extremely up close and personal. Lets the story unfold at its own pace. Very memorable with some key emotional moments empathizing with the plight of the manicurist.

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Dianne

Thank you Johnathan we spent alot of time with Van and her family to create a more intimate portrayal

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Dylan

With the current attempts of the Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA to roll-back hard won minimal protections for nail salon workers, this film is a revelation. But it's more than a doc about the chemical dangers of working in a salon. PAINTED NAILS is about the immigrant experience in ...Read more

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delfina

So engaging and well done! I didn't think I would like it since its not a topic that I would seek out , but I was pleasantly surprised. Very moving , informative and creative.

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Dianne

Thank you Delfina for your post about Painted Nails a documentary. In PAINTED NAILS, Van’s personal story encompasses both the immigrant’s journey and one woman’s rise to activism in the face of adversity.

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Ya

It’s a well done documentary. The film took us through a personal journey of Van ‘s life as a mom, immigrant, wife, owner of nail shop and advocate for her peers. Her courage and first handed experiences Shows us how popular and hidden secret nail industry are. The film makers did a great ...Read more

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Dianne

Thank you Ya. Van was an inspiration to us as filmmakers witnessing her transform and speak out for reform.

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Dianne

Van works 7 days a week often over 10 hours a day with harmful unregulated nail salon products.

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AdrianaMarchione

'Painted Nails' is a beautifully crafted story that highlights the challenge of being a business owner of a nail salon, and introduces us to the wonderful Van, a Vietnamese immigrant who is working hard to establish a life and a family in America. Based in San Francisco, this documentary ...Read more

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Judith

What a heartwarming story!Van becomes inspired to speak out for a healthier life for her self and other Salon workers, as she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, she becomes empowered which the film captures so artfully. Bravo! I loved watching her develop courage, I was so inspired!

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Dianne

Thank you Judith ~ Van was an inspiration to us also as we were making the documentary. She and her husband Triet risked their livelihood speaking out against the hazardous chemicals they work with on a daily basis.

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Dianne

"Painted Nails defies simplistic portrayals of immigrants and refugees as successful entrepreneurs, but provides a nuanced and compelling story of one woman's journey striving for economic self-sufficiency and advocating for safer working conditions in the fast-growing nail salon industry. It ...Read more

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Kathy

touching and important

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digallmedia

Thank you Kathy for watching Painted Nails and your post. As filmmakers we were moved by Van's willingness to open up her life in the documentary. She continues to speak out for herself and her family, the women working in the nail industry, her clients and for all of us who apply ...Read more

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Vanuyen

As a child of nail salon workers, so many aspects of this documentary resonated with me. It is inspiring to see Van advocate for herself and for her community, and it really brings to life how important it is for individuals to be empowered and how it is possible for individuals to create ...Read more

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digallmedia

Thank you Vanuyen for your post. We as filmmakers witnessed Van advocate not only for herself but for others working in the nail salon industry. She eventually traveled to Washington DC to become the first person to testify before congressional hearings about the harmful chemicals and not ...Read more

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Jasmine

I was so happy to hear about this documentary! To see such an issue that never gets addressed getting a documentary. For anyone from salon families or can relate, you will definitely see your family members and yourself on the screen. The doc leaves you wondering what happened afterwards with ...Read more

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digallmedia

Thanks Jasmine. It was our intention to make Painted Nails, a film not only about the toxins in the nail industry, but to share a multi- layered immigrant story. We wanted this documentary to shatter stereotypes and allow the audience to connect with, and care about, another person’s ...Read more

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Chris

First hearing of this film, wasn't sure what to expect! To a wonderful surprise this fantastic documentary covers an underserved community and the toxic ingredients sitting right beneath their eyes---on their nails. In it, we see a strong individual fighting to ensure her community's health, ...Read more

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Ian Torres

Watched at a Stanford Vietnamese Student Association (SVSA) screening of it. Was great to be able to center the experiences of Van and other Vietnamese immigrant women and their communities in this documentary.

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Tran

Consumers rarely notice the downside of an industry so integrated into American daily life such as nail industry. This documentary sheds light on the adversity nail workers have to face in order to earn a living, including overworking, excessive exposure to toxic chemicals, permanent health ...Read more

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Dianne

Thank you Tran for you comments. The struggle to access safer more transparent products still continues...it is even more of a concern to nail salon workers who often spend 7 days a week around these toxic chemicals.

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Julieta

This documentary is truly eye-opening in regards to the health concerns in the cosmetic industry as a whole. This documentary made me question why we, as consumers are willing to risk permanent health complications for short term beauty. This film is a powerful example of how a single voice ...Read more

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Ashlyn

This is a powerful and thought provoking documentary which follows the incredible journey of Van Hoang and the negative health effects she has suffered due to a lack of regulation of nail salon products. This is an important film to watch and will generate important dialogue around how these ...Read more