Vincent Chin is no American Idol but he is someone that every American needs to know but unfortunately, hardly anyone will remember or know – even during this week as we mark the “anniversary” of his brutal beating and subsequent death on June 23, 1982. It’s important to remember because how we recall the past can be so important as it informs our future. If you haven’t heard, the world is changing and that includes the country that I call home – the United States. And in a society where Diversity is the New Normal and an increase in tension with Immigration and Xenophobia issues, it’s that much more important for people to know about Vincent Chin.
Welcome to the month of June. Did you know that May is considered Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Don’t worry: most folks don’t know or care either. Honestly, I don’t like the idea of designating a month but I understand the motivation behind the month of May since it has historical important to Asian American history. I wasn’t going to share anything until I saw these two commercials in less than 10 minutes this weekend and I nearly puked. My point:
I am more than a stereotype.
To begin with, there aren’t that many healthy images of Asians on visible expressions of culture including TV and Hollywood. But why do folks have to keep perpetuating these stereotypes? I’m tempted to swear but I’ve already met my quota for the year.
Don’t understand where I’m coming from? Watch these three videos. They are only 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 2:27 minutes. Prejudice and stereotypes are everywhere. And Asians aren’t the only ones and I may be biased but seriously?
Update: Miley Cyrus [Hannah Montana] is still very young. No need to slam her for her slanted eyes photos but we should slam the slanted eyes gestures. Why? Because we don’t want 50 million teens around the world to think that slanting your eyes is affectionate. Nothing is more scary that a Hannah Montana with 16,000 fans slitting their eyes. Right?
I’ve received several emails this past week asking why I was making such a big deal in an earlier post of the photos of the Spanish Men’s AND Women’s Olympic Basketball Teams. I suppose we have to agree to disagree.
I’m in no position to judge any of the individuals or players involved as racists. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I certainly do in this situation; Truthfully, I also really like Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon as NBA players…I intend to draft both of them for my fantasy basketball teams in the upcoming season. But having said that, I have no problems with calling the ACT racist. While the intent may have been to demonstrate an “affectionate gesture,” let’s make this very clear: slitting or slanting your eyes is NOT an affectionate gesture. You don’t mock physical appearance because you think it’s affectionate.
Here is my list. Some may question the inclusion of some of these films but they fulfill my requirements –
a compelling story
a larger societal impact and message
I make these recommendations not simply because I’m Korean-American and have a healthy level of pride in Korean art & culture but because anyone that knows anything about film can attest how the Korean film industry is making some serious waves around the world. Each year, you will see an increasing number of films being entered into international film festivals (and some that have walked away with notable prizes such as Oldboy in the 2004 Cannes film festival). With the emergence of Asian film festivals in growing urban cities around the world, you’ll be learning more and more about Korean actors, actresses, directors, and films. Continue reading “10 best korean movies/films”