Thursday, January 31, 2008

Response to "Honk if You Love Buddha"

I guess I have similar issues with Honk if You Love Buddha as the rest of the class. Rather than present us with a unified look of Asian Americans, the film documented the various types of people who fall under the Asian American identity. While this was enlightening in portraying positive depictions of Asian Americans who break typical Asian stereotypes, it also brought me to the same conclusion that Christopher mentions in his earlier post that Asian American is a “subjectless” term (Alien Encounters 5). How can one term encompass such a large group of varying people? Does the fact that these people live in America and come from some sort of Asian background enough commonality to group them together? Also, while the film aimed to show the large variety of Asian Americans it managed to exclude South Asians.
Wouldn’t they too be considered Asian Americans? I guess I have less of a problem with the film and more of a problem with the term “Asian American”.

Also on a side note, like Allison, I was also confused about the role of Victor Wong. I guess he was chosen as the uniting voice because he did so many different things over the last 4 decades and because he fought so hard in not being defined by his race. I also thought his story was interesting in relation to the entire film because like he spent his whole life trying to reject the traditional Chinese ways of his father and various stereotypes people had about Asians, but in the end he just ended up isolating himself from his family. I also find it interesting that a lot of his acting roles were stereotypical Asian roles like the “Grandpa Mori” wise sensei role within the 3 Ninjas series. Why would he play the stereotypes that he spent his whole entire life trying to escape?

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