Yours Truly, Miss Chinatown

April 10, 2009 at 1:34 am 2 comments

Yesterday’s screening of Yours Truly, Miss Chinatown brought up themes we have previously discussed in class.  I didn’t really expect this since this is such new documentary (and we have been watching older films except for Hollywood Chinese, which reviewed older films).

When Daisy Lin Shapiro was asked about her motivation for making Yours Truly, Miss Chinatown, she talked passionately about how she started out wanting to break Asian American stereotypes.  I thought this was remniscent of the aims of the earliest Asian American documentary filmmakers.  Both wanted to represent Asian Americans in a way that hadn’t been represented before.  Shapiro is different in that she seems to be more accepting of some stereotypes.  She talked about how in some cases, it is true that some Asian women want to be “demure.”

I think that the problem is that Asian Americans, or any other group of people, can never be characterized by any number of stereotypes.  I suppose that Fanne is refreshing in that she is a “bad” representation of Asian Americans.  I mean “bad” in the sense that it strays from the demure and graceful traditional Miss Chinatown stereotype.  It is going in the right direction to have a wide variety of representations.

When Fanne Wong first came into the classroom, I was taken aback.  I didn’t really know how to respond and react.  I didn’t even know what to really think of her.  By the end of our discussion with Kristina Wong, I had a greater appreciation for what she did.  I realize that she is considerate when she is in character.  She doesn’t just want to cause chaos without a purpose.  She talked about how she only does her performance if it is worth other people’s time.  She isn’t careless; she is trying to make you think.  It is more than just a prank.

–Michelle Fong

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. inconsistentgranola  |  April 10, 2009 at 5:58 am

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  • 2. asianamericansinmedia  |  May 6, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Something that struck me about Daisy Lin Shapiro, though was that though she talked about how making the film broke many stereotypes that she had, and sometimes hadn’t even realized she had, about the contestants and the competition, I thought that she would sometimes make a remark that seemed as though those stereotypes still held a lot in her mind. Though it was definitely an eye opening experience, I’m not sure how entirely the Miss Chinatown or pageant stereotype was actually dissipated to her.

    -Posted by Liana


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