Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My America, or Honk If You Love Buddha - Response

Upon viewing Renee Tajima-Pena’s film My America or Honk, If You Love Buddha, I found that I enjoyed her efforts to look into the many pockets of America, as there were some in which I never would have expected to find stories about Asian Americans. One of the most interesting aspects I found about the film was the similarities and differences seen in the activism roles of a multitude of people Tajima-Pena interviewed, such as Yuri Kochiyama, Victor Wong, the Seoul Brothers, and student activist Alyssa Kang. The fact that all of these people were championing for an Asian American voice shows that this desire spans geographical region, background, and age. I found the fact that Tajima-Pena included activists from different generations to be refreshing, as the theme of generational conflict seems to be ever-present when it comes to speaking about Asian Americans of different ages. The stories of the various activists also showed the shift in the focus of activism. I found it to be a positive shift, as the younger subjects of the movie, for example the Seoul Brothers and Alyssa Kang, focused more upon issues facing Asian Americans, such as the typical Asian American male stereotype and Asian immigration issues. I feel this shows the emergence of issues pertaining to Asian Americans and the willingness of the younger generation to speak out about them.

One of the questions that I had while watching the movie was wondering why Victor Wong was the consistent narrative that tied the movie together. I could understand that his openness about various Asian American issues was a good way to lead from one topic to the next in the documentary, but is there any other reason why his voice was chosen to be the “uniting” character? Why did she choose his voice over the other people that she interviewed?

No comments: