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    Yellowface Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood

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    Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood

    Until today, the whitewashing is a racist tradition in Hollywood, and as the “blackface”, the “yellowface” was used in Hollywood as a propaganda tool and manifestation of the racism.

    The attack on Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December 1941 changed the world forever. The United States entered WW2. More than 110,000 citizens of Japanese origin were rounded up and dispatched to camps until the end of the war. Hollywood was quick to react with films from Know Your Enemy to Bugs Bunny Nip the Nip. With the arrival of the Cold War the enemy image had to change quickly and Hollywood obliged.

    Directors: Clara Kuperberg & Julia Kuperberg

    Production: Wichita Films 

    Producers: Clara Kuperberg & Julia Kuperberg

    Co-Producer: Martine Melloul / Kali Pictures

    Networks: OCS & Histoire

    Year: 2018

    Running time: 53 minutes


    Nancy Wang Yuen

    Author of Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism

    Tamlyn Tomita

    Actress Come See the Paradise

    Joseph McBride

    Film Historian

    Dan Akira

    Film Historian

    Selected at the Festival Lumière 2019

    Source : www.wichitafilms.com

    Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood (2019)

    Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood: Directed by Clara Kuperberg, Julia Kuperberg. With Dan Akira, Joseph McBride, Tamlyn Tomita, Nancy Wang Yuen. A history of anti-Asian racism and yellowface in Hollywood after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.

    Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood

    Original title: L'ennemi japonais à Hollywood

    2019 54m

    Play trailer1:59 1 VIDEO 2 PHOTOS Documentary

    A history of anti-Asian racism and yellowface in Hollywood after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.


    5.5 /10 126 Top credits 2 User reviews See more at IMDbPro 1

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    Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood


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    Dan Akira Self

    Joseph McBride Self

    Tamlyn Tomita Self Nancy Wang Yuen Self Directors

    Clara KuperbergJulia Kuperberg


    Clara KuperbergJulia Kuperberg

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    A history of anti-Asian racism and yellowface in Hollywood after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.

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    2 Review TOP REVIEW

    Good, but v VERY one-sided about actions during WWII (and it's hurt by the views of someone named Joseph McBride)

    While I enjoyed the first part of this documentary and thought that for the most part it gave a fair view, I must speak up about what was happening during WWII - both in the west AND the East, as well as one of the people who for some very bizarre reason is even featured to give a 'better understanding' of either history, or worldview; someone by the name of Joseph McBride, who I'll speak Ankur towards the end.

    What Ms Yang Wen says - and the makers of this documentary - gives a very one-sided view.

    The simplest question is why is there time devoted to anything but the portrayal and presentation of Asians in media?

    During the entire part of this informative film, we're told about the campus Asians were sent to during the war and their representation in - admittedly propogandistic cartoons.

    I'm not excusing the actions of the American government, but - when speaking about a war, it's VERY important that BOTH sides of the conflict are explained and shown.

    That doesn't happen here.

    Prior to the militarisation of Japan, it was a very Western-influenced society, but, afterwards, there were propaganda films made - which can by easily seen by anyone, nowadays. In one film, the Western-acting (Japanese) are ridiculed - viciously (both men AND women are scorned).

    This is supposedly a documentary about the history of how the Asians have been portrayed, and it suddenly veers into a very myopic view of the treatment of Japanese - and only Japanese - during WWII.

    Before anyone reading tries to label me as something I'm not, it's important to understand that what had so far up to this point been - as is clearly and repeatedly said, Hollywood's portrayal of Asians and other Pacific islanders, wrongly becomes a blistering attack on how the American government (mis)treated (just the) Japanese.

    Source : www.imdb.com

    ‘Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood’

    As always—representation matters


    ‘Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood’

    ‘Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood’ As always—representation matters

    (Courtesy Kali Pictures)

    By Alex De Vore

    May 04, 2022 at 12:00 am MDT

    Directors Julia and Clara Kuperberg’s tough-to-swallow (but more than fair) documentary might have come out in 2019, but it just hit the HBO Max streaming service this week, and should be considered a must-watch for cinephiles of all levels.

    In a nutshell, Hollywood both faces and self-generates an ongoing series of issues surrounding how Asian stories are told, who plays Asian characters and why, after so many years, it still blames audiences for an appalling lack of Asian representation. Through interviews with film historians and actors, the Kuperbergs posit that much of the problem stems from three major issues: The perception that Asian culture is a monolith; socio-political detritus—including the long dead puritanical streak Hollywood once had; and leftover World War II feelings spurred by propaganda—and the tired crap and pablum from the era of the Hays Code, which wouldn’t allow for interracial romance, sexual content, etc.

    The Hays Code is long-gone and there is no shortage of Asian talent, but casting directors consistently pigeonhole and typecast Asian actors, if they’re even cast at all. Assuming they do land roles, there is little to no delineation between cultures, and more often than not, the parts fall into that of martial artist or some sort of overly-stoic stereotype. And that’s before even delves into shocking examples of white folks playing Asian roles. Marlon Brando as Sakini in 1956′s feels particularly glaring, as do performances by Katherine Hepburn, Christopher Lee and literally anyone who ever played Charlie Chan. Mickey Rooney in alone is nauseating. From prosthetics and disgusting accents to cartoons and US military training films, the bullshit is so commonplace and myriad, in fact, that it almost feels like a whole lot of old people should get to apologizing.

    And though we might be tempted to look back and chalk the racism up to its being of a different time but, the film notes, things have not gotten much better. Look to Tilda Swinton’s Asian-esque role in Marvel’s films; consider how 1990′s remains the only mainstream narrative film about the Japanese American internment camps. Even that film’s star, Tamlyn Tomita, points out in the documentary how much of its content aged poorly—it’s also more than 30 years old at this point.

    stumbles a tad in its short running time and lack of talking heads. Just when it feels like it’s getting to some really good points, it’s over, and there’s not a whole lot of perspectives. Still, it gracefully suggests how moviegoers and filmmakers face a bit of a conundrum, but one that seems to be further untangled with every blockbuster Asian-led film over the last several years. Movies like and prove that audiences of all ilks will absolutely turn up for the movies that aren’t just about white people. It’s a good start, but moviegoers will need to self-evaluate and ask themselves what’s important. The folks who make movies even more-so.


    +You need to know this stuff-Longer runtime would have been nice; too few voices

    Yellowface: Asian Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood

    Directed by the KuperbergsHBO Max, NR, 54 min.


    Alex De Vore

    Alex has written about the Santa Fe culture scene for over a decade and won awards for doing so. He's pretty tired of Americana and still hopes new punk bands might happen.

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