Watch the trailer for “Other” on Vimeo.
It has always been a challenge for Asians and Asian-Americans to be at the forefront of race and social issues. Whether it’s the model minority myth, perpetual foreigner stereotype, or the lack of presence in media and politics, Asians have been made to feel othered. As much as Asians have fought to succeed, racism against Asians still exist, stereotypes continue, and we still are fighting to break through the “bamboo ceiling”. What does racism against Asians in America look like? How does the model minority myth perpetuate stereotypes and the notion of “other”? How does the Asian community progress? “Other” answers these questions through insightful interviews with Asian-American political activists, artists, politicians, immigrants, and other members of the Asian community right here in Seattle, and other areas of America. From politicians to professors, immigrants to illustrators, Chinese to Indian, perspective differs but our stories are all intertwined. Often, we see a separation between East Asians, Southeast Asians, and South Asians, even though we are all battling the same issues of being “othered.” Understanding that the Asian community is not monolithic, this documentary features a rare look at Asian perspectives and issues from all those various communities.
I wanted to create a documentary that connects with Asians and Asian-Americans everywhere, whether you are Chinese, Filipino, Indian, or any ethnicity of Asian heritage. Not many films have connected East or Southeast Asians with South Asians, and in my friendships in my life, all Asians deal with the issue of being “othered”. Asians have been expected to stand on the sidelines, not speaking out against racism, stereotypes, and the model minority myth. Now, more than ever before, is the time to speak up and confront the issues head-on. I wanted to create this documentary as a platform for Asians in our community to express their feelings and empower others with their words of hope for the future. I know that this documentary alone won’t fix issues that Asians deal with, but we can all do our part in the community to inspire change. I hope that this short film is a step in that direction.