Modern Yellow is a short documentary I made about the Asian-American experience. My Asian-American friends and I recorded ourselves talking and sharing our experiences with racial stereotyping in our suburban town. Making this film caused us to bond because we found out about the similar experiences that we have experienced as well as coming to the realization that the people around us are oblivious to these issues.
When I screened this film in my high school video production class,it was attacked by 98% of the class, which was predominantly made up of white people. They could not stop saying the phrase “reverse racism” and that I was a hypocrite for “attacking white people” when I my film was about anti-racism. It felt like the whole entire class was against me.
I was shaking from rage in my seat and kept reminding myself that I have to remain calm. I didn’t want to raise a fight – so all I said was that I could not find a single instant where the film is talking down to white people at all, and that I had no idea what they were talking about – which was the truth.
When I walked out of class that day I had to remind myself that those people do not make up the entirety of America. The whole country is not against me. I proceeded to show this film to as many people as possible, and got all types of positive and encouraging feedback. The film was even screened to a theater audience at the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival.
Recently, Modern Yellow has become even more recognized through Angry Asian Girls United (http://angryasiangirlsunited.tumblr.com/), and Marina Watanabe from marinashutup (http://marinashutup.tumblr.com/).
Numerous people – both through film festivals and the internet- have told me how much Modern Yellow relates to them. As more and more people watch and talk about it, the more I realized how common the experiences in the film are.
The film’s success reminded me that there are many people out there who still care and are eager to be educated on issues like this. America is not entirely like my video production class – at least I hope it isn’t.
– Asuka @asukarachellin.tumblr.com
Asuka Lin is a 17 year old freshman attending the CalArts film school in Valencia. She has recently taken a great interest in race relations – specifically Asian-Americans – because of her own racial background, which is Japanese. She would like to continue to make films in her future – both narrative and documentary – about racism and feminism.