On Sunday, March 26, the 1882 Foundation hosted a film screening of Bad Axe at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Directed by David Siev, the film documents Siev’s family living in Bad Axe, Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the Cambodian-Mexican-American family’s fight to keep their local restaurant running and unite a divided community amid rising racial tensions, the film engages in topics of intergenerational trauma, community activism, and the concept of the American dream. Bad Axe received critical acclaim, winning the Critic’s Choice Award for Best First Feature Documentary and making the shortlist for the 95th Academy Awards. To learn more about the film and watch it at home, visit https://www.badaxefilm.com/

Following the film screening, Angelina Cheung (Vice President of Communications of OCA-DC) lead a panel conversation with David Siev (Director/Producer of Bad Axe), Keyonna Jones (Founder/Executive Director of Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center), Lisa Mao (Executive Producer/Director/Writer of A Tale of Three Chinatowns), Chanda Choun (Civic Leader), and José Ignacio Gaona (Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships of Latinx History Project). During the conversation, panelists discussed their experiences examining intersectional identities, pursuing both creative and advocacy-related projects, and strategies for working collaboratively within communities.

From left to right: Angelina Cheung, Keyonna Jones, David Siev, Lisa Mao, José Ignacio Gaona, and Chanda Choun.

This film screening and panel conversation is part of an ongoing series of programs called 1882 at MLK, which seeks to bring disparate communities together in conversation with each other.

This program was organized in partnership with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, OCA-DC, DC Public Library, and Georgetown University’s Vietnamese Student Association.