“It is not a melodramatic or breathlessly hyperbolic thing to say that if you want to know about immigration in America and you don’t know the story of Chinese exclusion, it would be like saying you want to know about race relations in America but you’ve never heard of slavery.” – Filmmaker Ric Burns.
The Chinese Exclusion Act explains the causes, consequences, and continuing impact of the only federal legislation in United States history to single out and name a specific race and nationality for exclusion from immigration and citizenship – a timely look at an episode in American history that resonates today. Award-winning documentary filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu shed light on the origin, history, and impact of the 1882 law that made it illegal for Chinese workers to come to America and for Chinese nationals already here ever to become U.S. citizens. The first in a long line of laws targeting the Chinese for exclusion, it remained in force for more than 60 years.
Indiewire calls the film “a sobering and eye-opening look at a chapter in American history that not only reveals the way our nation did wrong by people who helped build it but also has clear parallels to today’s issues with immigration.”
Following the screening, well-known community advocate David Lei, who is featured in the film, will lead a discussion on this little-known part of American history and its relevance for 2018 and beyond. Lei’s passion for building communities, social improvements, youth education and the arts has led to his becoming a tireless Bay Area volunteer with many organizations, such as the Center for Asian American Media.
ADFS screenings are always FREE.
IN PIEDMONT: Ellen Driscoll Playhouse / 325 Highland Ave / Piedmont
Wednesday, October 17
5:30 – 7 PM Chinese Food Truck outside
7 – 8 PM Screening
8 – 9 PM Discussion
IN OAKLAND: The New Parkway Theater / 474 24th St (btw Broadway & Telegraph)
Saturday, October 20
3-4 PM Screening
4-5 PM Discussion
Food is available for purchase at the theater
For more information about this screening, contact: Cathy@diversityfilmseries.org