Film Lists

AAPI films to watch

May is celebrated as Asian American / Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month and with a few days left and the weekend coming up, I thought I’d share some AAPI films* that I’ve seen / plan to see.

* AAPI films meaning, they are either by an AAPI director or has an AAPI lead

Here are 5 AAPI films that you can watch this weekend:

Yellow Rose (2019)

genres: drama / music
Rose, a 17-year-old Filipino-American teenager from Texas, dreams of becoming a country music icon. She has to fend for herself when her mother is arrested by ICE, and must choose between following her dreams without her mother or leaving her passions behind.

Miss India America (2016)

genre: drama / comedy
Lily is a winner, but when her boyfriend leaves her for a vapid beauty pageant queen, she gets the notion that winning the Miss India America title would bring him back. Since Lily is perfect in everything else she does, it should be a cinch…or so she thinks. The pageant world isn’t just pretty smiles and high heels, and her main competition, Sonia, gives her a run for her money.

Tanna (2015)

genres: romance / drama
In a traditional tribal society in the South Pacific, a young girl, Wawa, falls in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. When an inter-tribal war escalates, Wawa is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, refusing her arranged fate. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers must wrestle with preserving their traditional culture and adapting it to the increasing outside demands for individual freedom.

Saving Face (2004)

genres: comedy / romance
A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Boy (2019)

genres: comedy / drama
It’s 1984, and Michael Jackson is king – even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s father, Alamein, appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version-an incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before. This is where the goat enters.

For more, you can view my list of over 20 AAPI films on Letterboxd. I will be updating it over time.

Also be sure to check out these resources on how to support the AAPI community 🙂

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