Recently, Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu, a husband-wife filmmaking team based in Los Angeles, joined Good Things with Rebecca Turner to talk about their newest documentary, Far East Deep South, which follows a Cinese American family looking for answers from California to Mississippi.
The 76-minute documentary explores the seldom told history of the early Chinese immigrants living in Mississippi during the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, and the plotline is actually based on one of Lam and Chiu’s personal experiences.
“About five years ago, I took a trip with Baldwin and his family to go visit his grandfather’s gravesite in Mississippi,” Lam said.
Not only did the couple find the gravesite of Chiu’s grandfather, but they also discovered a piece of their ancestral history that they were never told about—in large part due to the Chinese Heritage Museum at Delta State.
“We literally thought we wouldn’t find anything except maybe a gravestone, and then all of the sudden the Chinese Heritage Museum connected us with all these people,” Chiu explained.
When asked what prompted the film’s creation, Chiu said it was for their daughter to know her true American heritage.
“My original thought was that this was just for our family. We’re going to make a home video just so my daughter could know her American history, so she can know where her lineage came from and to know how American she really is.”
Far East Deep South is only available to screen through tomorrow, June 12. You can check it out at Oxford.FarEastDeepSouth.com, and you can also check out the full interview with Lam and Chiu below.