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Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

by Francile Albright

In May, we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We celebrate this while we are seeing a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the country. So, as much as it is a celebration of some of the many cultures that knit together the fabric of this country, it’s also an opportunity for us to listen and to learn in an effort to move toward a better understanding of one another. With this in mind, we’re looking forward to our film study class for adults in May, which will focus specifically on Asian American films. This class will be led by Will Tiao, who will share his unique perspective as a second-generation Asian American filmmaker.

These classes bring together a community of film lovers and life-long learners eager to see the world from different perspectives. Films provide us with the unique opportunity to not only see a culture or situation from a different perspective, but to experience it. Our collective experience of the stories we watch each week brings an urgency to our class discussions, and allows us to come away with new information that is not just heard, but deeply felt, and leaves lasting impressions. I hope you’ll consider joining our discussions on Thursday evenings in May, and if you can’t make it, please check out the films on our class list. These are important films to experience and reflect on, especially now. 

Who Killed Vincent Chin?

(Currently only available to TPH film study students)

Who Killed Vincent Chin?, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1989 for Best Documentary Feature after a successful film festival run, including a Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance. Recently, it has been unavailable for public screenings, but we’ve been granted special access to the film for our students in our May film study class celebrating AAPI Heritage Month. 

Filmmakers Christine Choy and Renee Tajima compellingly tell the story of Vincent Chin, a successful engineer living out his dream of designing automobiles in Detroit, meets an unexpected and violent end when he is assaulted and killed by two men in the summer of 1982, following an altercation at a bar. Despite their bloody crime, the assailants initially receive lenient sentences due to a plea bargain. The troubling outcome of the case outrages civil rights advocates, who fight for justice and struggle to prove that Chin’s attackers had racist motivations.

Read the LA Times review of the film here; or this review, which gets at the heart of this important film.

Gain exclusive access to view Who Killed Vincent Chin? when you register for our May Film Study Class.


Formosa Betrayed

(Available to rent on Apple TV and other platforms)


Saving Face

(Available to rent on Amazon Prime and other platforms)


Minari

(Available to buy on Amazon Prime and other platforms)