A 30-year-old office worker from Shenzen, China, to come to the United States to marry him in the documentary “Seeking Asian Female,” showing on Monday night in the PBS “Independent Lens” series, Steven manages to persuade Sandy. And their good fortune does end that is n’t. The film’s manager, who becomes immersed in Steven and Sandy’s life and profoundly implicated into the torturous length of their relationship, is Debbie Lum, a stylish young Chinese-American. Each time buddy of Steven’s comes towards the apartment to generally meet Sandy, he views Ms. Lum behind the camera and exclaims, “You’ve got two of these!”
Ms. Lum shows that she attempt to profile a guy enthusiastic about Asian ladies in purchase to comprehend a sensation which has weighed on https://yourbrides.us the very own life: “I’ve been stared at, hit on and harassed by a lot of males like Steven,” she declares. “Seeking asian” that is femalen’t have actually a lot to provide as anthropology, nonetheless. The type of Asian fetishism continues to be as mystical, or maybe as apparent, as ever. Where in actuality the movie succeeds is really as an acerbic intimate comedy with Ms. Lum as being a bumbling Boswell, alternatively speeding the program of love or tossing up roadblocks.
As Steven and Sandy make wedding plans — her K-1 visa offers them four months to marry — fights erupt over cash (he does not have much) and whether he’s nevertheless infatuated with a youthful Chinese pen pal. Ms. Lum not just records these events but in addition turns into a semi-willing facilitator with divided loyalties, sympathetic to both her initial topic also to the resourceful young girl stranded in a nation whose language she hardly talks.
Though Steven’s predilections and creepy cheer that is good her queasy, Ms. Lum can also be dubious of Sandy’s motives: “what type of girl would go nations to marry a person she came across on line and barely understands?” Her familiarity with Chinese and also the forced closeness of shooting conspire to help make her Sandy’s friend that is best and lifeline, nevertheless; unsure the way to handle the problem, she blunders along, warning Sandy at one point that Steven may possibly not be “the man you imagined him to be” and asking her at another, “Did you truly simply desire the green card?”
Ms. Lum’s research of her assumptions goes just therefore far — ideas about intercourse and love are up for grabs, but dilemmas of class and energy that appear just like highly relevant to the story don’t get the exact same attention. While Ms. Lum way to challenge stereotypes about cross-cultural relationship and sex, her depiction of Sandy frequently appears to echo a collection of conventions about Asian females involving stubbornness, envy and manipulation.
Just just What keeps this 54-minute movie regularly engaging is Sandy herself, wary, pragmatic and, much to Ms. Lum’s fortune, a complete organic as you’re watching camera. A person with a female that is asian the household will feel a tug whenever she informs Ms. Lum, after another epic fight with Steven, “I kept wondering, has he consumed?”