Asian Heritage Month-CFACI | Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH)

Holding a Mirror to Nature: Asian Canadian Film

Spoiler: Many of these pages are linked to videos and films. Enjoy!

Asian Canadian films capture the Asian diaspora visually and vividly. Ann Shin, whose parents came from Korea, explores themes of migration, alienation, cultural myths, race and beauty in her films and documentaries. The cosmopolitan IT guru Cheuk Kwan, born in Hong Kong and grew up in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, is famous for his Chinese Restaurants series which bring together his personal experiences, love of travel and appreciation of Chinese culture worldwide. Filmmaker, writer and visual artist Julian Samuel examines the historical and contemporary relationship between the West, the Middle East and Asia. His documentaries look at topics such as the relationship between libraries and democracy; and religion and politics. Shahin Parhami, Iranian-Canadian writer, director and filmmaker, develops his projects with a style that borrows from traditional and modern poetics of Persian visual culture and literature to reveal a rich and fascinating expression. He dives into questions that are tied to exile, identity, and maintaining one’s culture in a context of immigration. Yung Chang‘s first feature-length documentary ‘Up the Yangtze’ uses the highly contested Three Gorges Dam as a backdrop for a moving and richly detailed narrative of a peasant family negotiating unprecedented historic changes, and it garnered top international awards.

They are glamorous actors and actresses, who often make use of their unique Asian Canadian ethnicity depicting Asian Canadians or Asian Americans. Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Canadian actress Sandra Oh was born to Korean immigrant parents. She is known in Canada for her lead performances in the Canadian film Double Happiness, for which she won the Genie Award for Best Actress. Oh also won FIPA d’Or Best Actress at Cannes Film Festival for her role in The Diary of Evelyn Lau.

By now, you should be intrigued to find out more about Asian Canadian films. Visit our Asian Canadian Film Database.

The Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMAACH) was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy.