Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Grace Lee Project

There is a very popular Asian-American blog (Angry Asian Man) published by a guy in Los Angeles.  The blog compiles a lot of news and other happenings in the Asian American community at large.

One day, around July or August of 2004, there was an interesting posting.  A lady by the name of "Grace Lee" was filming a documentary called "The Grace Lee Project".   The goal of the documentary was to explore many different Grace Lee's around the world.   The director felt the name "Grace Lee" was pretty generic but did a name define a person?  Of course not.  So, she sought out many different Grace Lee's to interview for the documentary.  On that quest, the director had heard about a particular Grace Lee in the SF Bay Area and decided to have a note posted on the Angry Asian Man blog.

As it turned out, I knew of the Grace Lee the director was looking for.  I made a decision to reach out to the director and tell her what I knew of the person she was looking for.  We met up at some point in August 2004 and I was interviewed for about an hour or so.

About six months later, "The Grace Lee Project" made it's debut at the SF Asian American Film Festival in March of 2005.   The documentary would go around the film festival circuit, be released on DVD and play on the Sundance Cable channel for a time.

My hour long interview was edited and condensed to about five minutes though my Grace Lee is featured fairly prominently in the film.   I understood the editing because my knowledge of Grace Lee was a little broad and not the most specific.  I think there were other people that could have made better subjects BUT I was the one who knew and volunteered.

All in all, the experience was interesting.  It's a rare thing for a "regular guy" like me to be in a documentary that has played all over the world.  In fact, there have been acquaintances (college aged) who have mentioned that they saw the documentary (and me) in one of their Asian-American studies classes.

If you're curious, check out the film trailer here:

The Grace Lee Project Trailer

The Grace Lee Project

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