Korean Americans

The Movies, Race, Ethnicity (for cinema works by Asian American filmmakers or films with images of Asian Americans
People of Mixed Race - Interracial Marriage/Dating
China, Japan, Korea, & Pacific Islands

The Movies, Race, Ethnicity (for cinema works by Asian American filmmakers or films with images of Asian Americans

An extensive documentary of the history of Korean American immigration to the United States. Pt. 1 covers early Korean immigration, beginning with a three-year period starting in 1903 when more than 7,000 Koreans left their strife-torn homeland for new lives on the sugar plantations of Hawaii. Pt. 2 explores the expansion of Korean immigration after the Korean War and changes in U.S. immigration law during the 1960s. 47 min. covers early Korean immigration, beginning with a three-year period starting in 1903 when more than 7,000 Koreans left their strife-torn homeland for new lives on the sugar plantations of Hawaii. Pt. 2 explores the expansion of Korean immigration after the Korean War and changes in U.S. immigration law during the 1960s. Written, produced and directed by Tom Coffman. c2003. 112 min. DVD 2245

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Be Good, My Children.
An irreverent drama about a Korean immigrant family in New York City, whose members each have very different ideas about what life should be like in their adopted homeland. Raises issues affecting many immigrant communities: racism, sexism, representation of Asians in the media. A film by Christine Chang. 47 min. Video/C 4387

Black Hair and Black-eyed
A film by Julie Whang. From what sources does a young Korean-American lesbian draw her sense of identity? er mother, from fashion magazines, from the boy she dances with, or the girl she sleeps with, or her own barren apartment? 1994. 9 min. Video/C 5215

Breaking Bread
A documentary and two shorts by director Hamid Rahmanian. In Breaking bread, a slice-of-life documentary depicts a Korean-American family who invites an Iranian friend for their father's last meal. The joining of disparate cultures affords an unusual chance to examine the interaction of disparate perspectives through the common human realities of food and death. Special features: "The seventh day" an animated film short offers commentary on the biblical story of Genesis (6 min.); "An I within" animated and live-action tell the story of a clown who finds a household of lifeless marionettes (19 min.); Breaking bread film trailer (4 min.); "About shorts" film awards lists. 84 min. DVD X3653

Camp Arirang.
Filmmakers explore prostitution near American military bases in South Korea and examine the lives of the sex workers and their Amerasian children who live in U.S. camp towns throughout South Korea. Through interviews with the workers, soldiers and scholars the film examines the historical roots of the problem and the complicity of the Korean and American governments. 1995. 28 min. Video/C 5299

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

[Cho, Margaret] Margaret Cho: Assassin A2TV; Here! (2005)
Margaret Cho returns to the concert stage with a "killer" stand-up show that breaks new ground it its hilarious attack on politics and society. Taking aim at the media, organized religion and national policy she pulls no punches in her assault on America's "ever devolving" cultural state. Recorded live at The Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C. 84 min. DVD 4694

[Cho, Margaret] CHO Revolution (2004)
Directed by Lorene Machado. In concert, Margaret Cho tackles the axis of evil, the joy of bodily functions, her loser ex-boyfriend and her now world-famous mother. 95 min. DVD 2854

[Cho, Margaret] I'm the One That I Want (2000)
Comedian Margaret Cho's raunchy and hysterically funny stand-up concert. As one of the country's most visible Asian Americans, she has a unique perspective on identity and acceptance. Filmed live at The Warfield in her hometown of San Francisco, this film is Cho at her very best--funny, shocking and irreverent. 96 min. DVD 1066

Daughters of the Cloth
A portrait of a Korean immigrant family, working in the downtown Los Angeles garment industry. Mr. and Mrs. Bang worked for over 17 years in the business, starting out as sewing laborers and later founding their own sewing contracting company. Now retired, they watch as their three daughters, navigate various levels of the industry. From a retailer at the top, a manufacturer and a contractor in the middle, to workers at the bottom, the Bang daughters search to find their place within a cutthroat apparel business. What unfolds are the challenges of their small business ownership, family unity, and very survival. In an industry notorious for exploitation of immigrants, Daughters of the cloth offers an in-depth look into an increasingly tangled global economy, reflecting on a local dichotomy through the Bangs' daily struggles. Directed, written by Seung-Hyun Yoo. 2000. DVD X1371

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Fighting Grandpa
A sensitive and probing portrayal of Korean immigrant grandparents and their marriage. Grandma, left alone with four children for ten years in Korea, while her husband studied in America, was finally brought to Hawaii where she endured new hardships. Now, after 70 years of marriage, when grandpa dies, grandma's stoicism gives way to a piercing grief which surprises and confounds her family. Director/writer/cinematographer, Greg Pak. 1998. 21 min. Video/C 6526

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

First-Person Plural
In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and was sent from Korea to her new home. Growing up in California, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated until recurring dreams led Borshay Liem to discover the truth: her Korean mother was very much alive. Bravely uniting her biological and adoptive families, filmmaker Borshay Liem's journey makes a poignant essay on family, loss, and the reconciling of two identities. Written, directed, and produced by Deann Borshay Liem. 1999. 59 min. DVD X2958; vhs Video/C 7533

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Kim, Jodi. "An 'Orphan' with Two Mothers: Transnational and Transracial Adoption, the Cold War, and Contemporary Asian American Cultural Politics." American Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 855-880, Dec 2009 UC users only

Great Girl.
This film follows Kim Su Theiler who came to America as a child adoptee, as she returns to Korea looking for her birth mother. Drawn from personal experience, this film is an evocative and poetic drama about al and cultural disorientation. A film by Kim Su Theiler. 1994. 14 min. Video/C 5230

Sensitive story of generation and cultural differences that occur when a Korean grandmother visits her daughter, American son-in-law, and bi-racial granddaughter in the United States. 30 min. Video/C 4157

House of Suh
One of Chicago's most famous murder cases surrounded sister and brother Catherine and Andrew Suh, first-generation Korean Americans, who conspired against, shot and killed Catherine's former boyfriend. Over a decade later, director Iris Shim revisits the case and opens a Pandora's box of family secrets that reveals the murder to be anything but black and white. Directed and produced by Iris K. Shim. c2011. 95 min. DVD X6642

Korean Americans
This program examines a major piece of the new American mosaic, Korean Americans. Seeking to retain their traditional cultural values while adjusting to life in the U.S., Korean Americans have come into frequent and violent conflict with inner-city African Americans, and have sought, through their own ethnic civic organizations, to overcome the rejection of the community around them. 1993. 51 min. Video/C 6602

Korean Americans (Multicultural Peoples of North America).
One of a 15 part series which celebrates the heritage of fifteen different cultural groups by tracing the history of their emigration to North America, showing the unique traditions they brought with them, and who they are today. Each volume discusses when and why each group emigrated, where they settled, which occupations they engaged in, and who the important leaders are within each community. 30 min. Video/C 3299

Living in Half Tones
A short photo-essay by a Korean-American woman adopted by an American family as a child who returns to the Korean orphanage where she was first brought to find out about her Korean background and identity. A film by Karen Me Kyung MucKenhirn 9 min. Video/C 7584
Comic Relief See TV Comedy

[Cho, Margaret] Notorious C.H.O. (2002)
Filmed live in Seattle. Margaret Cho, a comedian in teh spirit of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, is known as much for her raunchy humor as for her enormous contributions as a social equalizer. 95 min. DVD 2854

My Niagara.
Probes the emotional undercurrents of a third-generation Japanese American woman who breaks up with her Caucasian boyfriend then meets a young Korean immigrant obsessed with all things American. A film by Helen Lee. 40 min. Video/C 4807

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

Notorious C.H.O.
Filmed live in Seattle. Margaret Cho, a comedian in the spirit of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, is known as much for her raunchy humor as for her enormous contributions as a social equalizer. c2002. 95 min. DVD 2854

Passing Through: A Personal Diary Documentary
Nathan Adolfson, a Korean adoptee who grew up in Minnesota, returns to his birthland. After spending six months at Yonsei University, the filmmaker is reuinted on Korean national television with his three long lost siblings. An absorbing account of how national barriers can stimulate rather than hinder personal growth, this film offers a timely look at a unique demographic coming of age. 1998. 28 min. Video/C 7054

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Explores the embittering effect the Rodney King verdict rebellion had on a group of Korean American women shopkeepers. It underscores the shattering of the American Dream while taking the media to task for playing up the "Korean-Black" aspect of the rioting. This film provides a perspective that is essential to discussions of the L.A. riots, ethnic relations, and racism in the United States. Includes interviews with the filmakers Elaine Kim and Christine Choy. 41 min. DVD 8551; vhs Video/C 2837
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Wet Sand

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Choy, Christine; Kim, Elaine; Sil, Dai; Gibson, Kim. "Sa-I-Gu. (short Story)" (movie reviews) Amerasia Journal v19, n2 (Spring, 1993):161 (3 pages).
Gateward, Frances. "Breaking the Silences: An Interview with Dai Sil Kim-Gibson." Quarterly Review of Film & Video. 20(2):99-110. 2003 Apr-June UC users only
James, David.
"Tradition And The Movies: The Asian American Avant-Garde In Los Angeles." Journal of Asian American Studies 1999 2(2): 157-180. UC users only

Searching for Go-Hyang
A personal documentary which traces the return of twin sisters to their native Korea after a fourteen-year absence. Sent to the United States by their parents for the promise of a better life, they instead suffered mental and physical abuse by their adoptive parents, including the erasure of their cultural heritage and language. These young women now explore the past in an attempt to reconnect with their "Go-Hyang", their homeland. A film by Tammy Tolle. 1998. 32 min. DVD X3853

Description from Women Make Movies catalog

Seoul II
Korean film maker, Hak J. Chung explores his own identity and that of the Yates family. The Yates' household consists of the father, an African American Korean war veteran, his Korean war bride and their three grown children. Discusses the discrimination the family has encountered and the cultural miscommunications that exist within the family. Produced at USC School of Cinema & Televis 1997? 25 min. Video/C 8805

A somber, disquieting portrait of a Korean American family trapped in the miserable grasp of an abusive, alcoholic patriarch, told from the point of view of Sophie, a girl in the family. Written & directed by Helen Haeyoung Lee. 2002. 29 min. Video/C MM1124

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

In this dark and haunting film on patriarchy and poverty and their human cost for a Korean family, a farmer struggling to feed his family, must decide on a course of action to fend off starvation. On many levels, the film is about the abandonment of children, the tragic by-product of poverty and hard-pressed parents. The filmmaker, a Korean adoptee, draws insightful parallels with the film to the growing pains of the Korean American adoptee community. Written and directed by Joy Dietrich. c2000. 23 min. Video/C MM1123

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

Through the Milky Way.
This experimental videotape focuses on a Korean woman's experience of emigrating to Hawaii at the turn of the century and her sense of displacement arising from the conflict between native identity and adopted culture. Produced, written & directed by Yun-ah Hong. 1992. 19 min. Video/C 5196

We Got Moves You Ain't Even Heard Of (Part One)
Directed by Erica Cho and Clover Paek. Cast: Clover Paek, Ji Sung Kim, Audrey Luke, Lynne Chan. Obsessed with 80's teen heartthrob Ralph Macchio (aka The Karate Kid), a gay Young Korean American takes a journey into Macchio's pin-up androgyny and Hollywood's all-American underdog fantasies. An experimental film commenting on sexual identity, butch/femme rolls, and Hollywood's orientalism. 1999. 11 min. Video/C MM1017

Western Eyes
Examines the search for beauty and self-acceptance through the experiences of a young Filipina and Korean woman living in Canada who both believe their appearance, specifically their eyes, affect the way they are perceived. Both feel unsettled in Western society and are contemplating cosmetic surgery on their eyes. Layering interviews with references to super models and other pop-culture icons of beauty, the filmmaker captures the pain that almost always lies behind the desire for plastic surgery. Director, Ann Shin 1979. 40 min. DVD X3440; Video/C 7711

Description from Icarus Films catalog

Wet Sand: Voices from L.A. Ten Years Later.
Kim-Gibson's follow-up to "Sa-i-gu" looks into the past and present to question how much has changed in the last ten years following the 1992 L.A. riots. Interviews with a multi-ethnic set of first-hand witnesses reveal that living conditions have deteriorated and that few remedies have been dministered to the communities most stricken. 2003. 59 min. DVD Video/C MM311

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

A dramatization about parental expectations in the Korean-American family. Sin Lee is a Korean American teenager who is robbed while working alone in his father's grocery store. Already feeling pressure to prove the worth of his general existence, he is unable to face his father about the loss. He and his buddies rally together and scheme to recover the money before sunrise. 90 min. Video/C 6089

Center for Asian American Media catalog description

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Miscellaneous and General Works
Chinese Americans
Japanese Americans
Korean Americans
Filipino Americans
South/Southesast Asian/Pacific Island Americans

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