LOS ANGELES — Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu have a lot to chat about these days.
What You Need To Know
- Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu released the documentary film “Far East Deep South”
- The film displays the impact the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 had on the Asian community in the South
- The experience resulted in a journey of self-discovery for Baldwin and his family
- “Far East Deep South” is streaming now on PBS until June 3
The Pasadena based Chinese American couple recently released the documentary film “Far East Deep South,” which is about the Chiu family history in the South.
It all started when they were prompted to explore Baldwin’s family history when they observed their daughter was building a positive relationship with her grandpa — Baldwin's father.
“Seeing her relationship with my father, it made me realize I never had that experience before, because I didn’t grow up with my grandfather,” he said.
The film displays the impact the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 had on the Asian community in the South.
The experience resulted in a journey of self-discovery for Baldwin and his family. As they prepare for a discussion at the Pasadena Library, the experience taught them that their family goes back six generations in the United States, starting in the Mississippi Delta.
“With someone with an Asian face, a lot of people don’t perceive us as being from here or that we don’t belong or that we are perpetual foreigners. I think it is really important to know that the lineage in this country is strong. We have been in many parts of the country, not just the South. We want people to know that we are Americans,” Larissa Lam said, who directed the film.
Learning more about the generational trauma the Chinese Exclusion Act caused in the Chiu family gave Baldwin more perspective.
“It really changed the way we looked at our family. It actually allowed forgiveness within our family to find out why our grandfather was separated from us. It really wasn’t because of him, it was from the Chinese Exclusion Act and the consequences of it,” Chiu explained.
On May 24, as Asian Pacific American Heritage month continues, Larissa and Baldwin will host a discussion with the Pasadena Library that explores the film and unpacks the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
“We really hope that the message of our film is to show that people are human at the core. It is about families. We all have families and hopefully we can look at each other, not by race, but you’re a mother, a brother, you’re a sister, you’re a father, you’re a daughter, you’re a son.”
“Far East Deep South” is streaming now on PBS until June 3.