Doc Blog

Hollywood History

Director Arthur Dong and actress Nancy Kwan (pictured here) presented the first screening of Hollywood Chinese on Thursday night.  The film depicts the various roles of Asian Americans in Hollywood films since 1916!

The documentary focuses on the roles of Asian Americans throughout Hollywood history.  Dong includes interviews with several Asian actors and filmmakers, as well as archived footage of many films.  The film mentions the several stereotype roles created for Asians and how during a certain period, Caucasians played these roles. 

In the question and answer session afterwards, Dong mentioned finding a copy of the silent film 1916 film The Curse of Quon Gwon, which to him was "one of the biggest discoveries" through the making of the documentary.  When asked why he made this film, Dong's answer was simple yet succint: "I've been a film lover all my life... I created a documentary about a period of film I loved."

Nancy Kwan addressed the lack of roles for Asian Americans, especially in the earlier Hollywood days.  She did mentioned that she is glad that Hollywood now offers more varied roles that all Americans can play. 

The film shows again Friday, September 14 at the Varsity theatre.

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