Not Your Model Minority explores the myth and the intersections with past and present anti-Asian violence. The film reveals the ways the model minority myth has been used to create a wedge between communities of color, while also examining opportunities to build power towards addressing systemic racism in America.

"Congratulations on a superb and nuanced film on this complex topic!  It was an honor to be part of it."

Helen Zia - Author/Activist
Synopsis: 

Not Your Model Minority explores the origins of the myth and the intersections with past and present anti-Asian violence. The film reveals the many ways the model minority myth has been used to create a wedge between communities of color and perpetuate divisive narratives. Not Your Model Minority also examines opportunities to build power and make progress toward addressing systemic racism in America.

Reviews

“Not Your Model Minority'' is a poignant documentary that explores the root of the racism, trauma, and resiliency of the Asian American experience. The filmmaker, Jon Osaki, approaches the story with a lens that seeks not to just expose the harms that have befallen our community, but inspires and offers a call to action, in allyship, to reclaim our narrative.”

Juliet K. Choi, President & CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

“As a first generation American from an Asian family, we never talked about the struggles of the Asian community in America. The women in my family were taught very young to be seen and not heard. After watching this documentary I realized how common this was and how detrimental it is to our society as a whole trying to conform to this model minority myth.”

Brittany Nelson Campbel, Law Student, University of Memphis
Director's Commentary: 

The nail that sticks out gets hit. A version of this sentiment is prevalent in many Asian cultures. The survival strategy of putting one’s head down, working hard and not complaining was relied upon while Asian Americans traversed the long, difficult path from being demonized as the Yellow Peril in America. Given the number of wars and conflicts that the United States has fought with multiple Asian countries, no one could fault our grandparents and parents for going through extraordinary lengths to avoid making waves.

However, something happened along the way towards assimilation into the White power structure of America. What began as a liberal approach to acceptance was hijacked and weaponized into a political tactic to oppress the progress of other communities of color.

At a time when anti-Asian hate is once again raging in this country, the path forward must involve more than seeking tolerance and law enforcement remedies to acts of violence. Asian Americans must contemplate how we have been used as a tool of white supremacy and the degree to which we enable the same systemic racism that has made our communities a convenient scapegoat throughout the history of America.

Not Your Model Minority lifts up difficult and uncomfortable issues that Asian Americans must reckon with as we seek the promise of America and acknowledge all the work that must be done within our own communities.