Monday, April 14, 2008

4.29: the women.

I think this documentary serves as a wonderful follow-up to Mississippi Masala in its portrayal of minority interactions. I was not surprised to hear that many of the women resented the police or the "White government" for having allowed the riots to ensue. Even if it does seem a bit counterintuitive for them to defend African Americans not long after the incident, it was comforting to see that they recognized the problem as greater than just Black-Korean tension, and rather a fundamental issue that the government needed to address.

I wish they had interviewed more people, including the men that were victimized by the incident. It was interesting that they chose to interview Korean women as the main source of narrative, and I wonder why they did so. Having been only three months since the riots, I do see how it would have been difficult to get a lot of responses for fear of throwing salt on a raw wound. Perhaps if they had interviewed men it would have been a very different documentary all together. From what I saw, the men seemed to be the ones that were out on the streets, defending their businesses and butting heads with the rioters. I feel that if the men had been interviewed, the general sense I would have picked up would have been more anger, as opposed to the women who seemed to express a lot of sadness and lament.

I remember having heard of the news when I was young. At the time I was living in Palos Verdes, a suburb immediately outside of LA and had a lot of relatives living in LA at the time. Because of what was happening in the city, a great majority of my cousins had to come stay with us for a week. My great Aunt owned two big restaurants in LA, one being in Koreatown, which required her to stay and hopefully minimize the damage that would have been done. Luckily her restaurant was untouched (from what I remember), but I recall being extremely confused and scared for her when I overheard the adults talk about "shot guns" and "protecting the restaurant." I would love to see another documentary being made now and see how the race relations have changed, if they have improved, and how many families have managed to pick themselves up after such a tragic period.

1 comment:

T. Chen said...

I think MTV made a 10-years-later documentary in 2002 (narrated by Ice T), but I can't recall the name of it...