Los Angeles Asian Pacific 2020
AFI Docs, CAAMFest, Houston Asian American Pacific Islander, Hawaii, Hot Springs Doc
A profile of several Asian Americans who get involved politically in the 2018 midterm elections.
Filmmaker Yi Chen, herself a first time voter, sets out to understand what experiences shaped the political beliefs of other Asian Americans in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections. She focuses primarily on North Carolina, where she profiles Sue Googe, a proud gun-toting Chinese immigrant who unsuccessfully runs as a Republican for congress with the message that her background lets her know that socialism doesn’t work and must be stopped. Also in NC are Kasier Kuo, a progressive Democrat who tries to make sense of Chinese support Trump; and Jennifer Ho, a professor and progressive Democrat who leads class discussions focusing on race in America and the perception of Asians. In Ohio, Lance Chen becomes a key organizer for the Republican Party, keeping a database of Chinese Americans and doing grassroots outreach to get their support for Republican candidates. While the filmmaker has identified an intriguing topic that rarely receives much mainstream consideration, her film suffers from its short running time. Its hourlong format but with a trimmed down cast, or a more fleshed out longer cut, would strengthen the project substantially, allowing its individual subjects to make more of an impact. Still, the film provides welcome insight and helps to break down false notions of any kind of monolithic Asian American identity or political consensus.