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Hollywood Chinese Series Launches

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Crystal Hsia
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Hollywood Chinese Series Launches

Featuring a new introduction by filmmaker and curator Arthur Dong


As long as Hollywood has existed, Chinese and Chinese American lives and artists have been an integral part of its story—though their contributions have often been marginalized, erased, and complicated by a tangled history of racism and (mis)representation. Inspired by curator Arthur Dong’s illuminating HOLLYWOOD CHINESE documentary and book, this series spans cinema’s first hundred years to explore the ways in which the Chinese have been imagined in American feature films, confronting an often grotesque legacy of stereotypes, and spotlighting the indelible contributions of trailblazing talents like stars Anna May Wong and Nancy Kwan, directors Wayne Wang and Ang Lee, and cinematographer James Wong Howe. What emerges is a fascinating cross-cultural mosaic shaped by both racist histories and groundbreaking artistry.


Advisory: Some films include racists stereotypes and tropes,

including yellowface and offensive slurs.



Massacre of the Christians by the Chinese, 1900

The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers, 1904

The Curse of Quon Gwon, 1917

Broken Blossoms, 1919

The Letter, 1929

Daughter of the Dragon, 1931

The Cat’s-Paw, 1934

The Good Earth, 1937

Lost Horizon, 1937

Charlie Chan in Honolulu, 1938

King of Chinatown, 1939

China Sky, 1945

Sweet Smell of Success, 1957

China Doll, 1958

The World of Suzie Wong, 1960 

Flower Drum Song, 1961

Rider on a Dead Horse, 1962

7 Faces of Dr. Lao, 1964

The Sand Pebbles, 1966

Chan Is Missing, 1982

Year of the Dragon, 1985

M. Butterfly, 1993

The Wedding Banquet, 1993

Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, 1998

Hollywood Chinese, 2007


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Kara Schwartz
Topic replies: 68
Topic Posts: 2
Thank you!!!!

Thank you

Kimberly Szeto
Topic replies: 32
Topic Posts: 2
RE: Hollywood Chinese Series

The Hollywood Chinese series and its examination of the representation of Chinese and Chinese American lives in American cinema is both insightful and comprehensive. It’s fascinating how the series not only addresses the marginalized contributions of artists like Anna May Wong and Ang Lee but also confronts the problematic history of stereotypes and misrepresentation. A huge shoutout to Arther for his work in the Chinese/Chinese-American space. I would also check out his book, Forbidden City, USA:  

Here are some ideas for how you could use the Hollywood Chinese series in a classroom setting:

  1. Historical Analysis of Stereotypes

    • Activity: Film Comparison Essay
    • Description: Students watch films from different eras of the series and write essays comparing how Chinese characters and themes have evolved over time.
    • Example: Compare The Curse of Quon Gwon (1917) and The World of Suzie Wong (1960) to discuss shifts in representation and the impact of historical contexts.
  2. Exploring Contributions of Chinese Artists

    • Activity: Research and Presentation
    • Description: Students research influential Chinese American artists like Anna May Wong or Ang Lee and present their contributions to Hollywood.
    • Example: Students create presentations on how these artists challenged stereotypes and contributed to the film industry.
  3. Analyzing Racist Tropes and Yellowface

    • Activity: Critical Discussion and Analysis
    • Description: Facilitate discussions on yellowface and other racist tropes using specific examples from films like The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers (1904).
    • Example: Students analyze clips or scenes to identify and critique these problematic elements and discuss their historical significance.
  4. Impact of Representation on Identity

    • Activity: Reflective Essays or Discussions
    • Description: Explore how film representations affect Chinese American identity and the perception of Chinese culture in the U.S.
    • Example: Students write reflective essays or participate in discussions about how stereotypes in films influence cultural perceptions.
  5. Contemporary Comparisons

    • Activity: Modern Film Analysis
    • Description: Compare older films from the series with contemporary films to explore how representation of Chinese Americans has changed.
    • Example: Students compare Year of the Dragon (1985) with Crazy Rich Asians (2018) to discuss progress and ongoing issues in representation.