I thought this was a great addition to the list of films and documentaries we have watched, as it addressed the LA. riots through a viewpoint that was excluded from the media coverage during the riots. As the filmmakers note before the documentary, the main portrayals of Korean Americans during the riots were of storekeepers holding guns to keep their property safe and of a Korean American storekeeper shooting an African American in the back of the head. This documentary is a response to those media images, hoping to bring to light the emotional experiences of Korean Americans in proof that they did care about human life, and did not discard human life for the sake of their property. The viewpoints of the women interviewed were varied, which provided for an interesting backdrop to their experience of the riots.
One viewpoint that I found interesting was when one woman compared the Korean Americans to “sacrificial lambs” in an expression of her frustration over how the LAPD did not take any action during the looting of the Korean American stores. I found this statement summarized the racial tensions expressed among the Korean Americans, African Americans, and white people that were a huge part of the riots. I can only imagine how Korean Americans felt when watching media coverage, as looters raided stores with police officers standing and watching nearby. With police officers usually acting as symbols of peace and protection, their inactivity during the riots led to a crisis in the Korean women’s hopes of coming to
Although this documentary focused solely on Korean American women, it did bring up aspects that I thought would be interesting to explore more thoroughly. For example, one woman talks about how her African American employees called and told her to stay at home, and that they would try to protect the store as best as they could. I wanted to learn more about these people, as it seems they sat right at the axis between Korean and African American tensions. What were their views of the riots?