Bad Axe
Film
Hop Film Event

Bad Axe

February 04, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Film Event season. This is an archived view.

A warm, uplifting portrait of a close-knit Asian Mexican American family in rural Michigan fighting to keep their restaurant alive in the face of a pandemic and a community fractured by racism. Discussion follows with director David Siev.

22/23 Hop Film Event

Bad Axe - Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films

 

After leaving NYC for his rural hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan, at the start of the pandemic, Asian American filmmaker David Siev documents his family's struggles to keep their restaurant afloat. As fears of the virus grow, deep generational scars dating back to Cambodia's bloody "killing fields" come to the fore, straining the relationship between the family's patriarch, Chun, and his daughter, Jaclyn. When the BLM movement takes center stage in America, the family uses its collective voice to speak out in their conservative community. What unfolds is a real-time portrait of 2020 through the lens of one multicultural family's fight to stay in business, stay involved and stay alive.

Programmer's Note: I had the opportunity to serve as festival director for Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival last year, where the dynamic and inspiring Bad Axe won the Audience Award. Director David Siev spoke passionately about using the power of story to affect positive change, and we have been looking forward to bringing him to the Hop ever since. We hope you can join us for this special screening. –Johanna Evans '10, Film Programming Manager

Co-sponsored by the Dartmouth Asian Americans Studies Collective (DAASC)

Programmed in conjunction with the campus Martin Luther King, Jr celebration

Midwest-born and raised, David Siev is a first-generation Cambodian Mexican American filmmaker. Before directing Bad Axe, his SXSW award-winning feature debut based on his family's restaurant in rural Michigan, David spent his early career learning guerilla filmmaking under director Jeff Tremaine. This experience prepared David to make his directorial debut with his award-winning narrative short, Year Zero, based on his father's experience of escaping Cambodia. David's work on Bad Axe has been celebrated with numerous accolades, including the Social Justice Award at the 2022 Critic's Choice Celebration of Asian Pacific Cinema. David now lives in NYC, focusing on developing narrative and documentary projects.

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