White Frog no more

by Amy Lin
Student Delegate 2012

Hello, this is Amy!

I’d like to begain with a confession. These past few days I’ve been a terrible student, skipping classes, dozing off in Chemistry lecture, and not filling out my transfer application. (How’s that for an Asian student?) But let me just say this– IT IS ALL WORTH IT FOR THIS AMAZING FILM FESTIVAL.

 As student delegates, the ten of us, with our “Festival dad”, Mordecai, began this journey with the premiere of White Frog, a film directed by Quentin Lee. White Frog… such a curious name, isn’t it? (spoiler alert)

The film is about Nick, a high school freshman with Asperger’s syndrome, facing changes made to his picture-perfect but internally broken family with the death of his older brother, Chaz. White Frog, as it says in film, is a Vietnamese dish, where a frog is put inside a coconut for days. The frog becomes tender and smells just like coconut, much like a person in a foreign community, ending up just like anyone else there, and still looks different from everyone else. The film provides an awakening to true meaning of being oneself. As Nick strives to survive the influence of his ethnic identity as an Asian American, economic identity as one coming from a well-off family, and social identity as a patient of Asperger’s syndrome, we arrive at the conclusion that there is no reason to be a white frog, to be a blinded creature in closed shelter, not knowing its place in the world and absorbing what is provided despite of its real feelings.

The film means even more to me personally after meeting with Director Lee the following day. The dialogue was truly inspiring and reminded me once again of my goal to incorporate film with ethnic politics in my study.

Aside from the business of film-watching, thanks to this film and Opening Night Gala, I stepped on a celebrity’s foot.
Failed, but still cool. (I did apologize after.)

More posts to come! :)

Chosen from a competitive pool of undergraduate and graduate students, the Student Delegates are a small but diverse group of students who undergo Festival “boot camp.” Guided by Festival staff, students participate in a rigorous schedule of film screenings, discussions, and exclusive meetings with filmmakers and special guests. The program aims to cultivate the next generation of filmmakers, activists, educators, and community leaders. See all of the 2012 Student Delegates here and their blog!

Sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

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