Director Alvin Tsang reflects on his family's migration from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the early 1980s - fraught with betrayal from his parents' divorce, economic strife and communication meltdown between parents and children. Filmed over a 17-year period, this award-winning documentary gives an insider view on the contemporary American immigrant experience, family psychology, and personal filmmaking.
This poetic exploration moves moodily across different channels and modes, bending into labor histories and Hong Kong's colonial trajectories. Tsang turns the camera on his own family, cautiously prodding for answers, but fully acknowledging that the only closure he can get will be from deciding for himself how to move on. When his mother and two siblings first immigrated from Hong Kong to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, six-year-old Alvin was forced to stay behind with his working, and consequently absent, father. Spending the following three years often alone in an empty apartment, he longed for his family’s reunification. However, upon Alvin and his father’s arrival to America, that dream was utterly and permanently shattered under circumstances the filmmaker has yet to fully comprehend to this day.
Alvin Tsang is a filmmaker and artist based in New York City. His work explores the more personal human experience to inform on bigger issues such as humanism, community and migration. His award-winning documentary REUNIFICATION (2015), about memories of migration and Tsang’s once intact family, was lauded for “explor[ing] the past with a Proustian sensitivity” (The Boston Globe), its “clear-eyed honesty” (Meredith Monk), and being “the film that’s come closest to feeling like a truly distinct Asian-American [film] language [in 2015]” (Salon).
HK 2015, digital
Directed by Alvin Tsang