Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sai-i-gu: The Voice of Women

I thought Sai-i-gu was an excellent documentary, able to capture the emotion and heartache that occurred on April 29, 1992 and its after-effects. What was most impressive, in my opinion, is the use of the female voice in this documentary. In Asian American popular culture, I feel women are used in a number of ways from exploiting their eroticized bodies to controlling the demure and passive female servant. However, in this documentary, we give females a new voice of their own. They are able to express their emotions and how their lives have been affected by these riots. We also see articulate women being able to extract meaning from this event.

Although not all of us may be able to relate to their stories about these riots and loss, I think it is safe to say each of us, or at least someone in our families, had the same feelings about the United States that they described in the beginning of the documentary. They had dreams about this nation and all idealized it.

The film was a commentary on race. We speak a lot about the Korean Americans and African Americans, and how we try to place blame on either community. However, is blame really meant to be assigned? And how do these racial polarizations begin to take place?

To be honest, I was never very familiar with these riots, and had never even heard of them until this documentary. However, to me, while watching the documentary, it was reminiscent of the Virginia Tech incident which created much animosity towards the Korean American community. After this instance, there was much discrimination and hatred unjustly fueled towards this community, which seemed similar to this instance. It seems unfair how racial prejudices arise.

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