Friday, December 23, 2011

Hollywood Chinese

"Hollywood Chinese" is a twofold exploration by Alfred Dong of Chinese Americans roles in Hollywood films and how they are portrayed. The first segment focuses on the early years of film, where roles were hard to come by for Chinese, and where people of Asian descent were always depicted in stereotypical roles and even the most successful Chinese roles such as in "Charlie Chan" or "The Good Earth" were given to white actors. We also see the work of such extraordinary people who were able to succeed in spite of bias, including James Wong Howe, the legendary two-time Oscar winning cinematographer. The second segment of the documentary focuses on current Chinese filmmakers and performers such as Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan (pictured above), Wayne Wang, BD Wong, and Joan Chen recollecting on the movies that influenced them in addition to their body of work. "Hollywood Chinese" is an enlightening film, made with a rare kind of thoughtfulness and understanding, that shows a group of people who have been limited by the industry who have still left an impressive mark on the movies.