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Film Recommendations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Here are a few film recommendations from Joni Clayton to watch. All of these can be streamed for free by any current University of Utah student, staff, and faculty.

Film recommendations:

Asian / Asian-American perspectives on Modern Dance

Intercut with excerpts of their works, choreographers Kumiko Kimoto, Sun Ock Lee, Mel Wong and moderator Peggy Choy discuss how Asian and Asian-American issues and identity shape their work.

The Big Sick

Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash.

The Dragon Painter

Remembered mostly for his performance as the Japanese officer in The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Sessue Hayakawa became so popular and powerful that he started Haworth Pictures. This film from 1919 was the finest of the Haworth productions.

Chinese in America

Lisa Ling explores the massive and economically diverse movement of immigration from China to the United States – and traces her own family roots, to find out what it means to be Chinese in America.

The Farewell

Billi’s family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch.

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee

Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee.  She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee told to keep her true identity a secret from her new American family.  But why had her identity been switched?

Island of Warriors

Pacific Islanders serve in the U.S. military in disproportionally high numbers and have suffered the highest casualty rates in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Learn why the island’s returning veterans say they can’t get the healthcare they need.

Pass or Fail in Cambodia Town

Southeast Asian Americans have some of the lowest high school completion rates in the nation. Visit Long Beach, California—the city with America’s largest Cambodian community—to find out why this educational crisis is occurring and what people are doing about it.

Urban Love Poem

Explore San Francisco’s history, from the Gold Rush and early Chinese immigration to the rise of Silicon Valley, through Marilyn Chin’s poem of her San Francisco youth. Guests include Maxine Hong Kingston, Randy Komisar and local residents.

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