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22 November 2021

History of Hate

by Syd Briscoe


Short Films: “Centuries and Still” - 4 mins 37s

Anti-Asian sentiment in the USA has been on the rise since Covid-19 swept the country... the unfortunately inevitable consequence of a leader referring to the plague as 'the China virus' and most perhaps disgustingly 'Kung Flu'. There's a direct line between such comments and increased violence towards Asian Americans (the Atlanta spa shooting perhaps the most shocking), but this short film demonstrates that such hatred isn't new.

A mixed-media approach gives director Sally Tran's film loads of texture, creating a tactile viewing experience which draws in the viewer despite the repulsive subject matter. In order for the nation to move forward in a cohesive and constructive way, the film suggests, it's essential for people to know where their prejudices come from.

From the Gold Rush-era fetishisation of Asian women to today’s hate crimes targeting Asian elders, the film makes for enlightening and discomforting viewing. Rather than former President Trump's pathetic attempts at wordplay, this is the sort of hard-hitting film-making which should be brought to public attention and given the respect and understanding it deserves.


Director: Sally Tran
Producer: Phuong Vo / Ditte Ravnild
Cinematographer: Isabella Tan
Art Department: Thuy T Nguyen

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