January 7, 2008
Written by C.N.
I hope many of you have already heard of Eric Byler — he was the director of Charlotte Sometimes and Americanese (an adaptation of Prof. Shawn Wong’s novel American Knees), both being critically-acclaimed independent movies.
Eric’s latest project, in collaboration with fellow independent filmmakers Annabel Park, Jeff Man, and Zhibo Lai, is entitled Project 9500 and is a multimedia documentary of the issues of illegal immigration in northern Virginia.
While much of the focus of this project is on Latino immigrants, Eric notes that Asian immigrants have been brought into the issue because many illegal immigrant critics argue that Asian immigrants are the “good” immigrants because they learn English quicker and are perceived to be more willing to assimilate into American society, as opposed to the “bad” Latino immigrants.
They are putting together a feature-length documentary film, but the project also involves short video essay clips that capture different aspects of the issue. Their YouTube site contains several dozen such video essay clips but two “introductory” clips that were recently featured in the Washington Post are below:
As I told Eric, these clips do an excellent job in capturing the individual-level emotions and institutional-level influences that are involved with such a complex and controversial issue. All signs are that their project is coming together quite nicely.
I encourage you to view some of their other video essay clips on their YouTube site and to keep an eye out for their upcoming documentary — it would be very, very interesting.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Eric Byler’s Latest Multimedia Project" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2008/01/eric-bylers-latest-multimedia-project/> ().
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