Chicago Asian American Film Festival, program one | Chicago Reader

Chicago Asian American Film Festival, program one

Truth may be the first casualty of war, but justice and perspective were additional casualties of the cold war, as evidenced by The Chinatown Files (56 min.), Amy Chen's riveting film about the hysteria surrounding Chinese-Americans during and just after the McCarthy era. Any Chinese who spoke out against poor working conditions was considered a communist, and any immigrant who sent money home to his family was surely an agent of Mao. Edward Wong's Comrades (26 min.) is a fascinating, heartfelt portrait of his father, Yook Wong, and 60s activist Alex Hing, each of whom was enthralled by the revolutionary spirit of Red China but later became disillusioned. (Jack Helbig) On the same program, Masahiro Sugano's Super Kamada (2000, 33 min.), of which Ted Shen writes, “Sugano is a talented manipulator of pop-culture references with a delightfully warped imagination. . . . A shy, slow-witted sandwich-board man (Choky Lim) who meets with rejection at every turn daydreams of being a caped superhero. Controlled yet completely loopy, Lim evokes the sort of loneliness that borders on insanity, and Sugano's deliberately tawdry mise-en-scene conveys the absurd reality that wreaks havoc on his overactive imagination.”

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