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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Films

Featured films may be rated R. Viewer discression advised.
Streaming availablity may vary. Subscriptions may be required.

 

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In Minari, a Korean American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

 

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Shang-Chi is not Marvel’s first Asian character, but it is its first protagonist superhero on the big screen. Read more about the actor, and the significance of this role, on the University of California's news page, "Shang-Chi, and Asian superhero, comes to the big screen."

 

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Turning Red tells the coming-of-age story of Meilin, a Chinese Canadian 13-year-old. The Pixar film has broken barriers in the film industry.

Should it be considered controversial? Read both sides of the discussion.

 "'Turning Red' is a turning point for Asians in film. Why is it seen as unrelatable?"

 

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Whale Rider is a contemporary story of a young Māori girl who must challenge tradition and simultaneously embrace the past while finding the strength and will to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.

 

 

A Place in the Middle is short film about an eleven year-old girl who dreams of leading the all-male hula troupe at her school in Honolulu. She's fortunate that her teacher understands the traditional Hawaiian embrace of māhū - those who are “in the middle” between male and female. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what's inside a person's heart and mind.

 

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The Farewell tells the tale of Billi's Chinese American family's return to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch -- the only person who doesn't know she only has a few weeks to live.

 

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In Tigertail, a multi-generational drama, a Taiwanese factory worker leaves his homeland to seek opportunity in America, where he struggles to find connection while balancing family and newfound responsibilities.

 

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Parasite tells the story of greed and class discrimination which threaten the newly formed symbiotic relationship between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan. Parasite made Oscars history as first foreign language winner of best picture.

 

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American-born Gogol, the Namesake, is the son of Indian immigrants who wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.