Documentary | 1993 | 36 mins | English and Korean w/ English subtitles | DVD
Writer/Director/Producer/Narrator: Dai Sil Kim-Gibson
Co-Director/Co-Producer: Christine Choy
Co-Producer: Elaine Kim
Grade Levels: High school and up
April 29 marks the 15th anniversary of a tragic day in American history. Violence, arson and looting erupted in South Central Los Angeles, sparked by the acquittal of the four policemen who had beaten an African American, Rodney King. During the tragic days of the riot in 1992, Korean Americans suffered about half of the $850 million in property damage, not to mention the emotional and psychological pain. In the days and weeks that followed, media coverage of the upheaval was extensive but rarely presented a fair and in-depth portrayal of the victims. They made the Black/Korean conflict the cause of the crisis, not a symptom.
Sa-I-Gu, literally April 29, presents this Los Angeles crisis from the perspectives of Korean women shopkeepers and offers an alternative to mainstream media’s inability or refusal to present the voices of victims in human terms but make them issues and numbers. Sa-I-Gu provides a perspective that is essential to discussions on the Los Angeles unrest that brought numerous social issues to the forefront — racism, class divisions, crime, violence, poverty, the urban underclass and political, economic and cultural empowerment.