What We Have In Common

Filmmaker Arthur Dong's new documentary Hollywood Chinese, explores the complicated relationship between Chinese culture and American Cinema

BY Japhy Grant

April 14 2008 12:00 AM ET

One of the running themes all the people in this
movie talk about is how there’s always this
element of fantasy and the exotic attached to
Chinese Americans. And even when the film talks about
how empowering martial arts movies were.
They’re still martial arts films. I admit
there was a period of time where I thought it was
great that I could walk down the street and people
would assume I knew kung-fu. I think it’s important
there is some sense of control or influence on these
products from Hollywood that go out into the world to
make sure that it’s meaningful or at the very least
accurate.

It is strange how America doesn’t seem to
consider other forms of racism and discrimination
because at times it seems that it’s so
caught up in the historical black and white divide.
Absolutely. Even Obama makes that mistake. He
talks about making the world a better place for black
people and white people and what; all these other
marginalized people just go over to the side? Whether it gay
people or Chinese Americans, it’s the same.

Anna Mae Wong | Advocate.com

Now that you’ve finished Hollywood Chinese,
what do you see yourself doing next?
I just became a father and I love being a
father. I don’t want to call him a project, but
you’re so many things when you’re a father, a
P.A.[production assistant], a crafts service person, a
costume designer, a production coordinator, but never
a director, because he’s the boss. Hollywood
Chinese
took about twice the time it took to make
the other films because I could no longer burn the midnight
candle. You know, he gets up at five, so you get up at five.

Tags: film

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