starring Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Youn Yuh-jung, Will Patton
written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung
by Walter Chaw I didn't like my grandmother, either--the way she smelled (mothballs, I think)--but I always equated it with Taiwan and foreignness, you know, the parts of myself I was trying to burn away so the kids would accept me at my predominantly white school. If I recall correctly, all the way through high school I was one of maybe two or three Asian students. A great-aunt of mine visited one year. She fantasized about killing the geese at the park and eating them. It made me crazy when she spoke this way. I was mortified, embarrassed to be out with her; I walked apart from my family as if the distance would make people forget I wasn't white. My grandmother would tell me about how stupid Americans were and how different my parents were here, how they didn't used to fight like they do now that worry over money dominated our lives. My dad was a brilliant guy, a grandmaster Go player with a Ph.D. in Geochemistry. Or he would have had one, but he didn't get along with his professors--and, he would tell me, he was very bad at German. (For a while, the only textbooks for what he was studying were written in German.) So he opened stores, learned silversmithing, and created jewelry. And he made a lot of business investments that were mostly failed that served to alienate him from us, strain his marriage, and rush him to the grave when he was 54. That's seven years older than I am now.