Sunday, February 10, 2008

Silent Film

The movie displays all the attributes of one set in the early 1900s. It contains the repetitive piano music, screens full of text, and over dramatized facial expressions. The film “Broken Blossoms” was created in 1919 and portrays the storyline of a classical Greek tragedy. Despite the negative racial wording of the narrative and trying to get over how the main Chinese character was played by a white man, I think the movie can still be viewed as ahead of its time. This was produced shortly after the conclusion of World War I. During this time, Japan, along with Mexico, were always considered a threat with their ties to Germany. The reading described the creation of Asian racism from Hollywood, along with America’s political phase of administering anti-Asiatic catharsis (Feng 58-59). I did not find the movie to play off that many real and imagined Asian stereotypes. I took the public health class on disability with Geo last semester and echo her comments on the similarity between the two films. I think we both had similar concluding thoughts on the movies.

The reading in Screaming Monkeys was extremely informative. It raised points about how the different East Asian countries migrated in staggered waves, the maltreatment of Asian immigrants to America, and the progressive work done out west in the 70s and 80s. This obviously calls attention a point that has been brought up many times in the previous readings and discussions. There is a real lack of Asian/Asian American history in the education system. I can remember learning about the history of Africa and having to memorize every country on the continent. I can recall covering centuries of in the interwoven history of Europe and America. However, I honestly cannot remember a time outside of World War II (or any other war involving America and the Pacific) that Asian countries or culture were ever referenced. Beyond that glaring fact shown by the reading, I think the chapter also set the foundation for why there is a lack of solidarity between the East Asian races. Galang et al went into great detail about how each of three major East Asian countries all went about trying to ‘one up’ each other in proving they were most fit for American society. This, in conjunction with the strong anti-Japanese feeling during World War II, created much hostility among all the races. There becomes a subtle sense of competition between the various groups of Asian Americans to stand out and be recognized as their individual race rather then being viewed as a single, united group.

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