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My America (...or honk if you love Buddha)

Renee Tajima-Peña

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Award-winning documentary filmmaker Renee Tajima-Pena changes gears and takes to the road. This lively film follows the director’s cross-country road trip in search of Asian America. She travels coast to coast on a mission to locate the media's infamous "model minority." Instead she encounters a rich landscape of personalities who have escaped the straitjacket of stereotype.

First screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, the cast of characters redefines all expectation. Victor Wong offers an example of the ways Asian Americans have defied predictions. The Seoul Brothers, a pair of Seattle rappers, try to balance their musical aspirations with the strict family life of their Korean parents. In New Orleans, the Burtanog sisters describe life as eighth-generation Filipinas whose family always considered itself "white" under a binary system of Jim Crow race laws.

With the filmmaker herself acting as narrator, My America keeps its tone resolutely upbeat and inquisitive - she's a roving reporter with insider credentials who takes us along for the ride.

(DVD 87 minutes)