On Saturday the first out of two screenings of the documentary Seeking Asian Female was held. I had read about the movie, and was looking forward to finally see it. As if that wasn’t enough, the maker of the film, Debbie Lum, also attended the screening which was followed by a round of Q&A.
Debbie Lum originally started making a documentary on men with “yellow fever”, an obsession for Asian women. However, the production took quite a turn as one of the characters met a woman online who agreed to marry him. This was the story she was looking for!
So the story is this: Steven, an aging white man who is obsessed with the idea of marrying an Asian woman (preferably Chinese), meets Sandy online. Sandy is Chinese (Yay!), half his age, and willing to marry him. Debbie Lum, who is Chinese-American, follows this somewhat special relationship from its very beginning when Steven searches online for a spouse, through a year into their relationship. Since Lum also speaks Chinese she gets caught between the role as cinematographer/interviewer and a translator and marriage counselor. The film is hilarious, heartbreaking and very, very interesting all at the same time.
After the screening I got the chance to speak to the director, Debbie Lum, and congratulate her on her first feature film as director. She told me that she has worked several years as an editor, which was a good starting point in order to learn how to tell a story. The process of making Seeking Asian Female lasted for five years, and I think the result speaks for itself.
P.S. The second screening of Seeking Asian Female is on Tuesday October 16th, 6 pm at the Dole Cannery. DON’T MISS IT!