April 29, 2008
Written by C.N.
I received the following announcement about a new film coming to PBS in May, entitled “Tie a Yellow Ribbon.” It’s a story about Asian American women told through the eyes of a Korean adoptee. From the looks of it, it should definitely be worth watching:
Tie a Yellow Ribbon to Air on Public Television During May 2008
First Feature Drama by Joy Dietrich Offers Compelling View into the Lives of Young Asian American Women through the Eyes of a Korean Adoptee
Making her feature debut, writer-director Joy Dietrich, also a Korean adoptee, introduces audiences to the world of Asian American young women and delicately addresses the abnormally high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American girls, creating a work of great compassion and poetic beauty.
In TIE A YELLOW RIBBON, Jenny Mason (Kim Jiang), a Korean adoptee and aspiring photographer, walks the streets of New York in a state of resigned indifference. Her days are spent with white friends and colleagues, her nights with white men. She has no contact with her Midwestern family due to a childhood indiscretion with her white brother, Joe (Patrick Heusinger). She rejects any attachment, dumping men as fast as she can pick them up. Yet she longs for a connection that would make her feel at home-a home that she has lost and is forever seeking.
One day, her roommate asks her to move out, fanning her fears of abandonment. She moves in with the beautiful but troubled Beatrice Shimizu (Jane Kim) and meets super-cool Simon Chang (Ian Wen), whose socially awkward sister, Sandy (Theresa Ngo), lives next door. Raised in the predominately white Midwest, she is both fascinated and repulsed by the other Asian Americans whom she meets.
Her indifference toward life starts melting away however, as she embraces Bea, who battles her own self-esteem issues with family and a philandering boyfriend, Phillip (Gregory Waller), and tries to help Sandy overcome her shyness. Jenny’s biggest obstacle is opening herself up to the possibility of a relationship with Simon. Meanwhile, Bea and Simon encourage and help jumpstart Jenny’s career in photography.
Suddenly, Joe appears at her door, shattering her current life. As Jenny searches for a voice and photographic style that she can call her own, she finds that she must face her unresolved feelings toward her brother and family, and ultimately reconcile her identity as an Asian American.
“I wanted to make a film that gave nuanced portraits of young Asian American women whose stories are seldom told in mainstream media. The dirty little secret is that Asian American women have one of the highest rates of depression in the United States,” said writer/director Joy Dietrich.
“While this film doesn’t attempt to explain the reasons why, it does expose the isolating, alienating factors that make the young women feel the way they do-the greatest among them the lack of acceptance and belonging. TIE A YELLOW RIBBON is ultimately about three young women’s search for love and belonging.”
TIE A YELLOW RIBBON will air on public television stations around the United States during the month of May 2008. More information about airdates can be found online at http://www.itvs.org/shows/ataglance.php?showID=7597. Please also check your local listings.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Tie a Yellow Ribbon: Film About Korean Adoptee" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2008/04/tie-a-yellow-ribbon-film-about-korean-adoptee/> ().
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