The Center for Asian American Media’s annual all-things-media extravaganza CAAMFest is turning 35 this year. (Good job!) This year’s 11-day celebration of film, food, music, and digital media from the world’s most innovative Asian and Asian-American artists takes place in San Francisco and Oakland — and we’re pleased as punch that after being obscured by clouds of misfortune last year, Chinatown’s eternally star-crossed Great Star Theater has re-emerged among the venues.
The Great Star will present the latest from Hoop Dreams and Life Itself director Steve James, whose Abacus: Small Enough to Jail looks at the Abacus Federal Savings Bank, owned by the Sung family and notable for being the only U.S. bank that faced charges after the Great Financial Apocalypse of 2008. Another film by a famous documentarian is Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu’s The Chinese Exclusion Act, about the 1882 law that curbed immigration and prevented Chinese people from becoming citizens. (To avoid fainting, keep repeating: “History will not repeat itself, history will not repeat itself, history …”)
Also of no small interest is Scott J. Drucker and Yu Gu’s Who Is Arthur Chu? Best known as one Jeopardy’s most divisive contestants ever, the picture dives into both Chu’s troubled relationship with his family and his attempts to do the right thing during the Gamergate shitshow.
CAAMFest, March 9-19, caamfest.com/2017