PARIS, NI HAO
Directed by Sharon Deng
In 2017, far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen made it into the French presidential runoff on a racist, anti-immigrant campaign. Though she ultimately lost to Emmanuel Macron, the bigoted sentiments that resonated with so many white French voters still have an impact on immigrants of color. This documentary explores the stories of several Chinese immigrants who struggle with their status and culture in the French capital.
Zixuan (Sharon) Deng grew up in Wuhan, China, and it was in Wuhan, aptly and poetically named the “furnace city” because of the scorching summer heat, that Sharon began her explorations in storytelling. At the age of 13, she started the three-year process of writing her novel, Breathe, which was published by Jiuzhou when she was 16. Her first film “From My Shop Window” follows a self-made businessman in Trenton and tells the story of Trentonians working together to bring the city back to life. Sharon is currently studying architecture at Princeton University, focusing on how culture and immigration are transforming the urban landscape. She is grateful to her professor Purcell Carson, the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, and her family for sparking and supporting her love of film.
114 minsEver since right-wing ethnonationalism broke into mainstream politics, the Western media landscape has been overrun by sympathetic stories of white citizens and all the reasons they were driven to support people like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen. Absent from this narrative is the millions of people of color negatively affected by the racist political agendas spreading across the Western world. This absence is exactly what makes the following films so essential. They are all unique explorations of Asian identity in white Western society, providing an array of perspectives on what it means to be the minority.