SOUTHEAST ASIAN PREMIERE
Director: Julie Ha, Eugene Li
Runtime: 86 minutes
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language and Mature Content)
Before Vincent Chin, Asian American communities were galvanised by the story of Chol Soo Lee. Edited by Jean Tsien, a veteran editor and advisor considered the “grandmother” of current Asian American documentary, Free Chol Soo Lee extends a historical character study of its titular protagonist, a young Korean American man wrongly accused of murder, into a rumination on the politicisation of Asian America, Korean American church networks, and the crushing mental weight of positive representation for one’s community. Deftly combining archival material and contemporary interviews, the film ingeniously incorporates a voiceover developed from Chol Soo Lee’s memoir and voiced by the prison activist Sebastian Yoon, who was also formerly incarcerated.
This film is featured in the strand Reclaiming History, part of the Constellating Histories: Encountering Asian American Diasporas Onscreen programme. For the full programme lineup please click here.
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