Here’s a great opportunity to help out some film-makers in the Asian American community. A project called “Chink” produced by Koji Steven Sakai (of 8asians), Stanley Yung (of The People I’ve Slept With), and Quentin Lee is in need of funding assistance. Read more about it over at Channel APA.
What’s most intriguing about this new project is not just the fact that it will star Asian Americans. The plot is about Eddy Tsai, an Asian American who has been bullied his entire life. Growing up without an Asian American community of support, Eddy develops some intense self-hatred that gets internalized into hate of all Asian Americans. His solution to all this bullying? Become a serial killer, of course. His target? Asian Americans.
This internalized racism is seen a lot throughout the Asian and Asian American community, but Sakai, Yung, and Lee take it to a new extreme. Promoting this movie with phrases like, “It’s gory but it’s also sexy. It’s about identity but it doesn’t take itself too seriously,” makes this project something to talk about. Hopefully it will facilitate discussion around serious issues of identity and the increase in bullying of Asian Americans at school, in the office, and online. After all, the issues of self-hate among Asian Americans is one of the highest of any other group and that stands as a disability to our community. We should be embracing one another, not fostering hate because we see reflected in our friends and family what society deems undesirable. Surviving and moving forward from such internalized racial hate is the only way that we’ll be able to come out of those ideas. Discussion will facilitate those actions, and this movie will hopefully be a great stepping stone for the API community to start the dialogue about these tough issues.
Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan. She is currently a student at Willamette University majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies. In her spare time, she’s an MBA candidate at Atkinson Graduate School of Management.