It's an improbable achievement, and each biographical detail that we get from Gu's film underscores just how unlikely Ngoy's entire life has been, from his innovation of carnation pink as the donut-box color to his marriage to the daughter of a wealthy and influential family as the son of an impoverished single mother (herself a Chinese migrant to Cambodia). You get the sense that a man with Ngoy's restless enterprise and financial savvy would have been a runaway success at any place and time. Outside, he introduces me to his new girlfriend, Sreypov, a beautiful 19-year-old woman with voluminous dark hair. © 2021 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. At the airport, Ted Ngoy slaps my shoulder and pumps my hand vigorously. [8], Military Career and Immigration to the United States, "Rise and fall of Cambodian refugee 'Donut King' charted in award-winning film", http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/19/local/me-donutking19, "The story of the man they called the doughnut king", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ted_Ngoy&oldid=991486239, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 09:04. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. Privacy Policy | [2], In 1967, Ngoy was sent by his mother to study in the capital, Phnom Penh, where he fell in love with Suganthini Khoeun, the daughter of a high-ranking government official. In a final segment, Gu chronicles how the American-raised children are updating their parents' donut shops for the social-media age and reutilizing them to anchor neighborhoods. His story is one of love, hard knocks, survival, and redemption. One of the timeliest stories of 2020, it turns out, is how the Cambodian refugee community took over the Southern California donut industry from the 1980s on. In 1975, Ted Ngoy fled the war in Cambodia with his wife and three kids and arrived in America as a penniless refugee. [4], Despite the wealth he had amassed and his importance within his community, Ngoy felt dissatisfied, remarking that he had "No political life, no religious life, just work, work. Shortly after reiterating what he was forced to say, he admitted that what was said was a lie and stabbed himself in the stomach. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on Ted Ngoy's story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. The life story of Ted Ngoy makes for a perfect Bollywood/Hollywood flick. Editor: Carol Martori Director: Alice Gu It’s the story of Ted Ngoy, a 1970s Cambodian refugee who built a Southern California cruller empire and dedicated himself to enriching the lives of so many of his fellow countryfolk sent to America with nothing. Despite her sheltered life and being forbidden from having friends or leaving the house other than for school, Suganthini fell in love. The titular donut king is 77-year-old Ted Ngoy, who has attained mythic status among many Cambodian Americans in Los Angeles and Orange County since his arrival in … This documentary tells Ted Ngoy's story that is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. Ngoy would often visit Las Vegas for a period of a week, unbeknownst to his wife. The nonfiction jury at this year's (canceled) SXSW Film Festival must have felt the same, as it gave first-time director Alice Gu's. He was raised by his mother, who was from Shantou, Guangdong, and who only spoke Chinese. [6][3], Ngoy bought additional doughnut shops in Orange County. In 1975, Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy (a former high ranking member of the military) fled his homeland and the violent genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. He is nicknamed the "Donut King." | California Privacy Rights Ngoy had become an example to other Cambodian immigrants, who began to follow his business model for their own entrepreneurial endeavors. He dissolved his party and accused the government of corruption. He would forge her signature on checks and even borrow money from relatives who leased stores from him. [1], In 2013, he was living in Phnom Penh working in the real estate business. Ngoy spent a total of 45 days in the mansion before being discovered by Suganthini's parents and subsequently kicked out. Ngoy attempted Gambler's Anonymous, but denies its help with his situation stating that when he went to meetings "I cry, everybody cry. The totally surprising and extraordinary roller coast life of Ted Ngoy is the stuff of a good movie drama ….. except that this is a documentary of his almost unbelievable real life.. A word of warning here, before you start to stream Alice Gu‘s wee film, go grab yourself a box of donuts, as her film has you gasping to eat more than a few.. The spry, charming Ngoy makes for a surprisingly guileless presence despite his obvious wish to burnish his legacy. [5] He and his family fled the fighting in that country in 1975 and ended up in Tustin, Calif., an hour’s drive south of Los Angeles. The couple were wed shortly after and had three children. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Sitemap | In 1985, Ngoy and his wife became American citizens assuming the American names of Ted and Christy, respectively, and were enjoying a lavish lifestyle including a million dollar home at Lake Mission Viejo, a vacation home in Big Bear, expensive cars, and vacations to Europe. Gu’s portrait of Ngoy shifts to favour the greater empire Ted built: one of a rich Cambodian-American community that thrived through the donut king’s pay-it-forward ethic. Genre: Documentary ... A wonderful dark tale of coming of age in a country in transformation - then Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1990s. It’s the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America’s favorite pastry, the donut. Mayly Tao, Owner of DK's Donuts & Bakery + Donut Princess LA, joins Jerry to chat about her childhood growing up the daughter of Cambodian immigrants in … {"nid":"1284529","type":"post","title":"SXSW Revives Film Competition Digitally After Festival Cancellation","relative_path":"\/news\/sxsw-revives-film-competition-digitally-festival-cancellation-1284529","media":{"width":1296,"height":730,"extension":"jpg","mime_type":"image\/jpeg","type":"image","path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","sizes":[{"path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","width":1296,"height":730},{"path":"https:\/\/static.hollywoodreporter.com\/sites\/default\/files\/2020\/03\/sxsw_2020_banners_-_getty_-_h_2020_-compressed.jpg","width":1296,"height":730}],"orientation":"landscape","id":"3968614","caption":null,"credit":null}}. 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