“Staying Put: Stories of Chinatown’s Resistance” Premieres At Lightbox Film Center
On December 4, 2018, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation premiered “Staying Put: Stories of Chinatown’s Resistance” at Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project World Premiere at the Lightbox Film Center.
PCDC is proud to participate in the Precious Places Philadelphia history project, which has from 2004 empowered community organizations with needed equipment and guidance to produce over 80 short films that highlight hidden and forgotten local histories.
“Staying Put” was one of nine documentaries that premiered. Although these documentaries were created separately over the course of nine months, common themes appeared, reflecting Philadelphia’s changing landscape: rising property prices and gentrification, waves of racial and socioeconomic tensions, and the powerful role of community organizing–both as a buffer against external pressures and as the most effective means to enact tangible change for the otherwise underserved.
“Staying Put” is PCDC’s update on the state of Chinatown; after nearly 50 years, it is a response to “Save Chinatown”, the documentary produced by Jon Wing Lum in 1973 in the midst of the Save Chinatown movement, as homes in Chinatown were being demolished and the Philadelphia Chinatown community made history as one of the few that successfully rallied against urban renewal to preserve their community. “Staying Put” summarizes “Save Chinatown” in retrospective, and provides a needed update: what happened next, and Chinatown’s current hopes for the future.
As the 2018 Precious Places cohort documents local community efforts to maintain a sense of home and belonging in the face of change, Precious Places provides a medium to communicate these legacies broadly. PCDC hopes this documentary will inspire other neighborhoods struggling to serve overlooked populations, and act as a first step for education and coalition building.
For this resource, we are grateful for the support of Scribe Video Center. We thank the documentary team, which includes Production & Post-Production Facilitator Ana Gonzales, Humanities Consultant Heather Levy, and Chinatown Community Production Team: Selena Yip, Ailin Cao, Dallas Teng, Raymon Shi, Jintong Jiang, Rosaline Yang, and Xiaotong Zhu. Thanks also to everyone who took the time to be interviewed: Brad Baldia, Kate Banford & Aaron Nevins, Al Beatty, Rob Buscher, John Chin, Wai Man Ip, Donald Leong, K. C. Leung, Tian Fu Lin, Helen Luu, Eric Law, Keith Mui, William Tung, Lt. John “Bounce” Wilson, Ignatius Wang, Carol Wong, and Cecilia Moy Yep. Finally, thanks to Isis Lum for granting permission to use footage for “Save Chinatown.”
Watch the documentary on PCDC’s youtube channel below:
Find out more about other Precious Places documentaries on Scribe’s website: http://www.scribe.org/precious-places-community-history-project-2019