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Tender and honest, Tigertail is a beacon of hope in today’s tide of anti-Asian bigotry | Georgina Quach

Alan Yang’s film about the lack of understanding between generations strikes a chord, and is so relevant as coronavirus racism spreads

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Inflamed by President Trump’s casual phrase “Chinese virus”, anti-Asian sentiment is erupting all over the world. As a British-Vietnamese person who has been spat on because of the colour of her skin, the film Tigertail is a glimmer of hope – a way of showing the truth, and connecting Asian communities at a time when panic and misinformation serve to break us apart. Alan Yang’s multi-generational love story Tigertail weaves in Yang’s cultural self-discovery and features memories of Taiwan, as experienced by the protagonist Pin-Jui. Weighted against the present tide of anti-Asian bigotry, this tender story about honesty and lost love is more relevant than ever.

“American culture has been negligent in portraying Asian-American people as fully realised human beings,” Yang told the Deadline podcast. Yang, who worked on Parks and Recreation before co-creating Master of None, recalled the trepidation he felt in the early days of his career, in a cultural landscape where east Asians were rarely represented, or stereotyped as hardworking automatons. Yang said he had felt restricted to using only white characters in his early pilots, fearing that all-Asian or Asian-American scripts would never be accepted. But this was before the film successes of Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell and Parasite brought real Asian faces to mainstream culture.

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