Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Lower Manhattan is hosting a film screening and discussion series that focuses on celebrating Asian American women filmmakers, MOCA Cinema: Spotlight on Women Filmmakers, from March 1 to 10.
The films tackle important issues, including the struggles of women in China, the emotional impact of deportation on families, and the experiences of adoptees living between two cultures. These stories are not only powerful and moving but also help to shed light on important issues and experiences that might otherwise be overlooked.
Reena Dutt, one of the featured filmmakers, explained to NBC New York that “women’s voices are stories our way.”
Violet Du Feng, who produced and directed Hidden Letters, spoke about the importance of sharing the story of Nushu, an ancient secret language developed by women in China. She explained how the film industry is very male-dominated. By giving a platform to women filmmakers, MOCA is helping to amplify diverse voices and stories.
Another featured film, Removable, follows the true story of Adam Crasper, a man who was adopted by abusive American parents and deported to South Korea as an adult. The story is told from his wife’s perspective, who struggles with guilt after reporting domestic violence that helped lead to his deportation. Shu-Ying Chung, the director of the film, was curious about the wife’s experience and wanted to explore the emotional impact that deportation can have on families.
The series also includes a short film called Found, which offers an adoptee’s point of view of living life between two cultures. Reena Dutt directed this film, as well as another called Touch, which is also part of the festival. Dutt emphasizes the importance of taking gender out of the equation and recognizing all filmmakers as equals.
MOCA’s celebration of women filmmakers not only highlights important stories that might otherwise go untold, but also emphasizes the importance of having diverse voices represented in the film industry.
As Violet said on NBC New York, “If we’re not pushing forward, we’re going backwards and we have to keep pushing forward as a community, and this is our community.”