A Chinese-American family’s search for their roots leads them to the Mississippi Delta, where they stumble upon surprising family revelations and uncover the racially complex history of early Chinese immigrants in the midst of segregation and the Chinese Exclusion Act era.
"Its intimate, as-it-happened cinéma-vérité style draws you in, and soon this family trip takes the twists and turns of a compelling detective story. A surprising, sobering history lesson, it is painfully relevant."
Far East Deep South sheds light on the history of Chinese immigrants in the American South and the discrimination they faced during the late 1800s to mid-1900s through the emotional journey of Charles Chiu and his family as they travel from California to Mississippi to find answers about Charles’ father, K.C. Lou. With the help of local residents and historians, the family learns about the interconnected relationship between the Black and Chinese communities in the Jim Crow era and the impact of restrictive immigration policies that kept their family apart for generations. Through a series of stunning discoveries at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum and the National Archives, the Chiu family also uncover how deep their roots run in America. This unforgettable story offers a poignant perspective on race, immigration, and American identity.
The film features notable leaders, authors and historians such as U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Dr. Gordon Chang, Dr. Jane Hong, Dr. John Jung, Dr. Robert Voss, Tyree Boyd-Pates and Past National President of Chinese Americans Citizens Alliance, Carolyn Chan.
* Available with English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified) subtitles
"A good film for general audiences but especially good for high school and college classroom use. The film provides a solid introduction on the history of Asian American & Pacific Islander racism and the lasting, generational harm it has and continues to cause. This film is highly recommended for academic and public collections."
“The story is beautifully presented and paced. It was touching and informative on many levels and should be widely viewed.”
"Far East Deep South is not just a movie. It's a life-changing experience."
"An excellent film to offer for American History. I have always talked about the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, but this puts it in such greater context."
"Far East Deep South stands apart as a fascinating documentary about the contributions of early Chinese immigrants in the U.S. It is a deeply moving retelling of the Mississippi Chinese legacy that triumphs in the face of many difficulties."
"The exceedingly well-done documentary was very engaging for my U.S. History students. Several students admitted to crying. One of my students told me, 'You know how you wanted to bring history alive for this course? Watching Far East Deep South brought history alive for me.'"
“What becomes apparent is the complex picture of race relations in the South and the plight of Chinese immigrants who found a place in the African American community.”
“What an amazing journey...You should warn viewers that Far East Deep South is a 10 tissue documentary. This film should be required viewing in all public schools, state legislatures, and Congress!“
“Even though I knew about the Chinese Exclusion Act I did not realize that women and children were not allowed to come to America. History appears to be repeating. The movie was very well done and the perfect length to tell the story. “
"Chinese immigrants in the Deep South struggle and thrive. A tale of heartbreak and tenacity in post-Reconstruction Mississippi."