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Caodaists worship the left eye as an Asian synthesis of eastern and western traditions. In this film, they tell their stories of exile, anti-colonial struggle, and building immigrant congregations in California. Footage of rituals and temples, and archival images combine to provide a personal perspective on a largely unknown mystical tradition. Older religious leaders tell how this new faith emerged in colonial Saigon in the 1920s and was soon followed by one in four people in southern Vietnam.

Incorporating European figures like Victor Hugo and Jeanne d'Arc, Caodaists tried to heal the wounds of colonialism, but suffered persecution from the French, the Diem government, and the communists. After 1975, new spirit mediums in California developed an innovative style of worship for a generation of followers facing the challenges of the American context and newly re-opened contact with religious centers in Vietnam. How independent can California congregations be from sacred authorities in the homeland?