It’s the last day of the International Film Festival, and I am excited to watch The Forbidden City, U.S.A, at Doris Duke Theatre. This is located in the basement of the Honolulu Museum of Art and as always, it is a relaxing, pleasant experience. The theatre is small, the services are great and I also get to nourish myself with the current exhibitions of the museum.
The Forbidden City, is a documentary of the glamorous stories of the Chinese American nightclub scene and the magical, intoxicating world of the entertaining industry during World War II.
Forbidden City, full with interviews of some of the producers, singers and dancers who lived the story at that time and over four hundred stunning images and videos creates a beautiful dynamic that evokes what Forbidden City meant for Asian American performers and the critical perspective of the white community of San Francisco.
Stories from over 50 years ago are beautifully expressed in a very open, vivid and amusing way. Its composition of archival footage of original recordings and the shows are the key elements to engage the audience and bring even more life to the interviews of the performers themselves. Even though prevalent themes, such as racism, stereotypes and segregation are brought into the scene, their passion and determination to succeed in the showbiz go beyond the hardships these people faced.