Asian comedy ‘outed’

By Erin Semagin Damio

The Asian American Center is coming out.

As part of an effort to reach out to the Northeastern community, the Asian American Center (AAC) is hosting a variety of events to showcase different aspects of their culture and heritage. They kicked off a monthly film series Wednesday with “Saving Face,” which they described as a “typical Chinese-American lesbian romantic comedy.”

The movie screening also coincided with National Coming Out Day. “Saving Face” is a Chinese-American film about a girl, Wil, who is struggling with coming out as a lesbian within the constraints of her traditional Chinese family.

But Delia Hom, assistant director of the AAC, said this film, along with the others in the series, is multilayered and should appeal to more than Asian-Americans.

“No movie really has just one theme,” she said. “We also want to make sure that people of different backgrounds and different identities feel comfortable coming to the center. It’s not just for Asian- Americans.”

On the surface, “Saving Face” appeared to be a typical coming-out movie centering on a girl’s struggle to share her identity with her family. But the Chinese angle of the film gave it a unique flavor.

Wil’s family spoke only in Cantonese and lived in Flushing, a Chinese neighborhood in Queens. To make matters worse, Wil had to contend with overcoming the traditionally conservative viewpoints of living with a Chinese family.

The audience viewed the movie while eating rainbow-colored ice cream sundaes.

“I loved the movie,” said junior environmental studies major Brittany Sidway, who came to the movie because she saw the ad on the myNEU portal.

The AAC is in its second year on campus, and is continuously expanding its activities. The film series that “Saving Face” is part of is a new addition this fall. The next movie in the series will be “The Debut,” about a high school student accepting his Filipino heritage, Nov. 13.

“The goal is just to make sure that people are aware of these movies, to bring them to campus, and to give people an opportunity to learn what Asian-American film is about,” Hom said. “Not all these movies are shown in theatres, so people don’t always have access to them, but I think at the same time, they’re really interesting and speak to everyone.”

The AAC has several other events coming up throughout the fall semester. They will host a Jeopardy quiz night Oct. 23, and are planning a pumpkin and apple-picking trip Oct. 28. The center is also hosting Dragon Ladies, an Asian-American women’s group, the Asian-American Literature Book Club, and occasional brown bag luncheons to discuss issues relating to their community.

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