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Bernal Film Review: East Asian Foodways Across Borders, Spring 2024

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Lizette Bernal
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Bernal Film Review: East Asian Foodways Across Borders, Spring 2024

'This Is Not What I Expected' is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores the complex themes of cultural identity, family, and the pursuit of dreams. As a teacher, I find this film an invaluable resource for the classroom, as it offers a unique opportunity to engage students in discussions about these important topics. Through its poignant and relatable characters, the film sensitively tackles issues such as bullying, social media pressures, and family dynamics. The film's narrative follows two young women, one Chinese and one American, who embark on a culinary journey to discover their shared love of food. Through their experiences, students can explore the ways in which culture shapes our identities, the challenges and rewards of navigating different cultures, and the importance of embracing our unique heritage. Moreover, the film's portrayal of the vibrant and diverse world of Asian cuisine is sure to inspire students with a newfound appreciation for the richness and complexity of this culinary tradition. The film's nuanced exploration of these themes makes it a perfect choice for use in various classroom settings, including social studies, cultural studies, and language arts. By incorporating 'This Is Not What I Expected' into my curriculum, I aim to foster critical thinking, promote cultural understanding, and inspire my students to embrace the beauty and diversity of the world around them.