Representation Matters a Lot in Indie Film “For Izzy”

Will Yu, the creator of activist movements #StarringJohnCho and #SeeAsAmStar, daily tweets, “Representation matters today.”

If that’s true – and I’m of the opinion that it is – then the award-winning indie film For Izzy matters as much as anything I’ve seen in years. It’s a heartbreaking, yet hopeful story that presents several types of characters rarely seen in other productions.

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UPDATED: #RepresentationMatters for My Daughters – and Me

AUGUST 18, 2018 UPDATE: After watching both Crazy Rich Asians, which was a deeply emotional experience for me, as well as the delightful To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix, the scene I’ve embedded below came to mind. It’s from Supergirl on the CW network, and it features two wonderful actors in a flashback: Izabela Vidovic as a young Kara Danvers/Supergirl and Ivan Mok as bullied schoolmate Kenny Li.

I’ve read some Asian-American women comment over the last few days that it would have been hugely helpful, when they were younger, to see themselves represented by the main characters in romantic comedies like Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. In a similar vein, it would have been significant in my own youth to have seen myself represented in a scene like this:

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An American Dad, an American Girl Special

Scooby, Scooby-Doo, Can’t See You

When I was in the third grade, my mom gave me some devastating news:

Son, you are going back to Chinese School!

I was shocked. Incredulous, I asked if she was kidding. But she was totally serious. Our church, an ethnic Chinese Christian church, was launching its own Chinese School, and I was going to be a student.

I broke down crying, on the spot.

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