Film Review by Louis Medel: “The Secret Life of an Asian American”

*spoilers ahead*

For this week’s blog post I decided to write a film review of The Secret Life of an Asian American. This film was directed by Nicolo Requiestas, who is Filipino American. As Filipino American myself, I personally enjoyed this film a lot. It was very refreshing to watch a piece of cinema and see not only yourself represented but also your issues represented. In The Secret Life of Asian an American, Requiestas showcases the issues that come with being Filipino American and Asian American. His film explores the question of the place Filipino Americans have in the Asian American diaspora. Are Filipino Americans Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders? This is something I had to deal with a lot in high school, with kids telling me I was not Asian American but instead a Pacific Islander.

Diving into more issues that affect the Asian American community, Requiestas comments on the hypocrisy of the Academy Awards and Chris Rock for making stereotypical Asian jokes while at the same time calling for more diversity. Where Requiestas really shines is where he comments on the lack of Asian American representation in Hollywood. He states that if he were white he would have a much easier time making it in Hollywood but because of his race, it’s much harder for him. This is something I think is very important to the film. This whole film is a social commentary of what being Asian American in the media is like. It will be very hard for Asians to make it in Hollywood as “normal” characters. I think what’s so powerful about this film is what it can mean to people; to me personally it inspires me to know that there are people out there in the world who want to change the way Asian Americans are seen on screen. This makes me really happy.

This film will be played during the Ithaca Pan Asian-American Film Festival on Thursday, April 20. 

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