Talking Back to Your Television: Video Art & Activism

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Director/Producer: Valerie Soe


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This compilation of Valerie Soe’s early experimental works (1986-1992) confronts the myths of Asian stereotypes head-on through images, personal stories and film clips.

“ALL ORIENTALS LOOK THE SAME” (1986, 1:30 min)
This short video effectively debunks a racial myth, provoking the viewer to confront stereotyping and prejudices about Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Black Sheep (1990, 6 min)
Utilizing short vignettes, Soe recounts the story of her “black sheep” uncle to explore the implications of difference within and without marginalized culture.

New Year (1987, 23 min)
This videotape uses hand-drawn illustrations and found footage to explore the conflicts of a child caught between her Chinese American background and the stereotypes and expectations created by mainstream American film and television images.

Picturing Oriental Girls: a [Re] Educational Videotape (1992, 11 min)
Clips from more than 25 Hollywood films and television programs, layered with voice-over and written words, examine the orientalism and exoticism prevalent in media images of Asian American women.
Golden Gate Award, Best Bay Area Short Video, San Francisco International Film Festival

Walking the Mountain (1992, 2:00 min)
A memorial to the filmmaker’s young aunt and relatives.

Mixed Blood (1992, 20 min)
Takes a personal view of interracial relationships between Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans. Soe skillfully combines interviews with couples, text and clips from scientific films and classic miscegenation dramas to explore the complexities of intimate emotional and sexual choices. She wonders whether such choices have public and political implications.

Pricing - College / University / Institution