Valerie Soe, Ph.D., in partnership with The Center for Asian American Media
Production of The Chinese Gardens, a 30-minute documentary film, offered students and emerging filmmakers and artists of color an opportunity to participate in a professional film project, teaching these young people the skills they need to tell stories about relevant issues from their own communities and cultures.
The Chinese Gardens draws connections between past and present race relations in the U.S. at a time when the scapegoating of immigrants in this country is in full effect. The racist rhetoric currently employed against Latino immigrants in Arizona and Texas echoes the vitriol used against the Chinese in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although Chinese Americans are often cast as the so-called model minority, in fact the history of the Chinese in the U.S. is fraught with discrimination and racial violence. The Chinese Gardens will document a time when the Chinese in California were brutally repressed and driven out.