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Hollywood Chinese (2007)

 |  Documentary  |  2 May 2008 (USA)
8.3
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Hollywood Chinese is a captivating look at cinema history through the lens of the Chinese American experience. Directed by triple Sundance award-winning filmmaker, Arthur Dong, this ... See full summary »

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Hollywood Chinese is a captivating look at cinema history through the lens of the Chinese American experience. Directed by triple Sundance award-winning filmmaker, Arthur Dong, this documentary is a voyage through a century of cinematic delights, intrigues and treasures. It weaves together a wondrous portrait of actors, directors, writers, and movie icons who have defined American feature films, from the silent era to the current new wave of Asian American cinema. At once entertaining and enlightening, Hollywood Chinese reveals long-untold stories behind the Asian faces that have graced the silver screen, and weaves a rich and complicated tapestry, one marked by unforgettable performances and groundbreaking films, but also by a tangled history of race and representation. Written by Louise Rosen Ltd.

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2 May 2008 (USA)  »

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Both informative and very entertaining
13 April 2008 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This film, at it's heart, is an expose on America itself and how it both exploits and rewards minorities, ever so slowly adding them to the mix of the American experience. The pay-off's come at the end with frank testimonies from Joan Chen, B.D. Wong, and the amazing Ang Lee. The final topper comes when the multi-faceted (and talented) Justin Lin laughs that once he broke through the Hollywood "ceiling" he couldn't get his films released in Asia because they weren't about white people.

Loads of archival footage surround the interviews (none expressing much bitterness) with Nancy Kwan's beauty ever-shining, she is surprisingly self-aware and candid about the negative stereotypes she was accused of perpetuating. But this is less about the Chinese in Hollywood than America itself: "...as long as you make money" is the creed, no matter how damaging or ridiculous the job.


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