April 20 at 6:00 pm at SHDH 1208 Christine Choy is an architect, professor, and pre-eminent filmmaker. Her groundbreaking documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin earned an Academy Award nomination among numerous other awards for recounting the murder of a young Chinese American in 1982 that sparked a revolution among the Asian American community.
Biography Christine Choy was trained as an architect, receiving her Master of Science degree from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Soon thereafter, her life took a different direction-direction. Christine crossed the country to Los Angeles, studying at the American Film Institute where she earned a Directing Certificate. Christine has produced and directed about seventy works in various forms, receiving over sixty international awards. Among them are numerous fellowships such as the John Simon Guggenheim, the Rockefeller, and the Asian Cultural Council, as well as an Academy Award Nomination for the documentary film, Who Killed Vincent Chen. Christine has an equally impressive history as an educator, teaching not only at NYU at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, this year once again as Chair of the former, but also at Yale, Cornell, and SUNY Buffalo. She was also a visiting scholar at Evergreen State College, as well as the Oslo and Volda Film Institute in Norway.
Who Killed Vincent Chin?
Who Killed Vincent Chin? is a film rich in paradox. To begin with, its title is ironic: Vincent Chin’s murderer is known, and to an extent has accepted responsibility. But identifying “who” is not the incisive point of this complex and ambitious documentary “about” a young Chinese American who is clubbed to death by a white man. Instead the filmmakers, Christine Choy and Renee Tajima, chart the sudden collision of two American dreams outside a topless bar one hot Detroit night in 1982, and describe the labyrinthine course that justice, susceptible to competing pressures, pursues over the next four years. Vincent Chin is a film with no easy answers and broad implications.
Revealing interviews with the victim’s inconsolable mother, and with Ron Ebens, the middle-aged killer, and his wife and stepson, are integrated into newsreel and archival footage syncopated to some of Motown’s own sounds. this subtly constructed film embeds a single, awful incident within the turbulent social network of an America so deep in change that even its citizens, fearful of unemployment and wary of other races, don’t understand what is happening.