This film aims to promote awareness and diversity, while showing that violence in and of itself is senseless and that as a community we need to come together and stand against racial inequalities.
I produced “Onion Soup” as a personal therapy for myself. While Asian American hate crimes have been around since Asians first began migrating to America, since the onset of the pandemic those hate crimes have been escalating.
The first time I’ve ever experienced racism for what I look like was at the start of the pandemic, and it didn’t just happen once. For the first time I was called a “Chink.” For the first time I was told to “go back to China.” For the first time I was approached by people in a car who wanted to run me over for “spreading this virus” as they yelled slurs and chased me into the grocery store.
Those were not the only instances. I am not the only Asian American, or person to face these types of racist attacks. This film helped me cope with what's happening to me and countless others around the world. Although this film is a period piece, set in the 1880's and taking inspiration from the HBO Max Show "Warrior" based on Bruce Lee's writings, it makes the point that racism in America has been around so much longer than the hashtag “#stopasianhate.”
It was the first time I was able to produce a world from floor to ceiling. This set does not exist anywhere, and it was a learning experience as my first period piece. Everything took time from the authentic seven-piece costumes, getting the walls into place, and for the stunt coordinators Kris Mayeshiro and Tek Le to plan the choreography. I have to thank the director, Alberto Triana, for developing the story with me and wearing so many hats. Without his support this film could not have been made.
Audrey Page, the production designer, stayed up all night into the next morning with me painting the floors before the shoot and making a studio space into an alleyway. Christian Botos, the costume designer and wardrobe historian, spent months making the outfits for every character and making sure that each outfit was period accurate from the hats down to the shoes. The entire cast and crew came together to get this story made and I am so thankful for all of their help.
Coming soon to the festival circuit!