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The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens

Race, Sex, and Cinema

Gina Marchetti

Publication Year: 2012

The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens looks at the way in which issues of race and sexuality have become central concerns in cinema generated by and about Chinese communities in America after the mid-1990s. This companion volume to Marchetti's From Tian'anmen to Times Square looks specifically at the Chinese diaspora in relation to ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identity as depicted in the cinema.

Examining films from the United States and Canada, as well as transnational co-productions, The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens includes analyses of films such as The Wedding Banquet and Double Happiness in addition to interviews with celebrated filmmakers such as Wayne Wang.

Marchetti also reflects on how Chinese identity is presented in a multitude of media forms, including commercial cinema, documentaries, experimental films, and hybrid digital media to offer a textured look at representations of the Chinese diasporic experience after Tian'anmen.

Published by: Temple University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

I would particularly like to thank my editor, Micah Kleit, for his support of this project and commitment to research on Asian American cinema. Given that studies of the Asian diaspora on American screens are just emerging, it is a...

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1. Introduction: Race, Sex, and the Chinese Diaspora in American Film

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pp. 1-15

The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens: Race, Sex, and Cinema looks at issues of race and sexuality as central concerns in cinema generated by and about Chinese communities in America from the mid-1990s to the present. Examining media works from the United States and...

Part I: In the Black Pacific

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2. Jackie Chan’s Black Connections

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pp. 19-58

In 2010, a remake of the popular film The Karate Kid (1984) came to the screens as a vehicle pairing Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (African American star Will Smith’s son). Rather than featuring a master-student relationship between a Japanese World War II veteran (Pat Morita) and a teenage East...

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Interview: Jeff Yang

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pp. 59-65

It’s a funny thing, because being Jackie Chan sounds a bit like Being John Malkovich [1999], doesn’t it? You step through a little door and appear in his head. I suppose that, figuratively, I did step through a little door, and I ended up in a very strange environment. In many ways, Jackie has to get up in the...

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3. Interracial Romance in Action: Romeo Must Die

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pp. 66-79

Jet Li serves as Jackie Chan’s chief competitor for starring roles in Hollywood martial arts vehicles. Although Chow Yun-Fat enjoys his share of Asian action in America, he has never been a kung fu star, and his martial arts films have been comparably few...

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4. Black in the Chinese Diaspora: Double-Consciousness in Yvonne Welbon’s Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself

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pp. 80-96

While Jackie Chan’s films may echo Du Bois’s notion of “double-consciousness” and highlight the many ways in which the experience of the Chinese diaspora parallels the African diaspora, as observed in Chapter 2, Yvonne Welbon approaches the common ground between...

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Interview: Yvonne Welbon

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pp. 97-102

When I came back from Taiwan and I started film school, there was not very much written on black women. I felt I had to start writing, because if I did not, there were going to be other black women showing up at these film schools not able to learn about their own history and...

Part II: Sex, Gender, and Generation in Diaspora

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5. Queering the Patriarchy: The Wedding Banquet, Toc Storee, and Dirty Laundry

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pp. 105-138

As David L. Eng has pointed out in his book Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America,1 Chinese males have been coded within American racial discourse as outside the norms of white heterosexuality. In Hollywood Orientalism, this has manifested as the twin extremes of the...

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Interview: Richard Fung

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pp. 139-143

Growing up in the Caribbean, I did not think of film as something particularly interesting. I grew up in the Sixties, and I was in high school in the Sixties when there was a Black Power uprising in Trinidad. It was a very intense time politically. Because of the questioning of white supremacy and...

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6. Guests at the Wedding Banquet: The Joy Luck Club, Double Happiness, Siao Yu, and Shopping for Fangs

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pp. 144-167

Following the success of The Wedding Banquet (1993), many of the key themes in Lee’s feature began to reappear in other motion pictures about Chinese Americans. Interracial romance, green card marriages, racism against Asian Americans, gay and lesbian Chinese Americans, generational differences...

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Interview with Wayne Wang

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pp. 168-171

My dad was a big Hollywood film buff. When I was growing up, he would take us to movies all the time. The ritual of sitting in the movie theater, the lights going out, and the light coming from the projector has been magical for me for as long as I can remember....

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7. In Pursuit of Video Hapa-ness: Banana Split and Kip Fulbeck’s Boyhood among Ghosts

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pp. 172-187

The Joy Luck Club (1993), Double Happiness (1994), Siao Yu (1995), and Shopping for Fangs (1997) use narrative fiction to explore the complexities of life within the Chinese diaspora as it intersects Asian America. Experimental video artist Kip Fulbeck covers much of the same ground...

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Interview: Kip Fulbeck

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pp. 188-193

Although I started college at UCLA as a premed major, I ended up at University of California, San Diego, as a visual arts major, focusing on media, including film/video/photography. I went to graduate school there as well. In graduate school, I decided to focus on Asian American issues. I wanted...

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8. Conclusion: Screening the Chinese Diaspora in the New Millennium

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pp. 194-200

As Jackie Chan’s career over the first decade of the new millennium has shown, diasporic flows have taken a turn to the East, and career prospects for many Hong Kong–based thespians and directors seem brighter in Asia (particularly in the PRC) than in North America. Although many...

Appendix: Filmography

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pp. 201-204


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pp. 205-225


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pp. 227-238


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pp. 239-242

About the Author

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pp. 243

E-ISBN-13: 9781592135202
Print-ISBN-13: 9781592135189

Page Count: 258
Illustrations: 44
Publication Year: 2012