CHINATOWN AUXILIARY short film, audience reactions
FESTIVAL AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEOS • 9m 13s
CHINATOWN AUXILIARY, 26min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Zijun Cathy You
A group of Chinese grandpas and grandmas have been patrolling the streets of Manhattan Chinatown for several decades as NYPD volunteer police. They fought to find belonging in this unwelcoming foreign country. This NYPD uniform is their way of protecting the few blocks of their newfound home and family in it. From the savage tribulation back in the 70s to the “Asian Hate” era during the COVID-19 pandemic, their stories remind us of the hope this country represented to the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It’s never too late to stand together.
I fell in love with Chinatown after my visit. The place had a feeling of familiarity but also unfamiliarity to me, but what was more important was that I felt the scene of belonging. I am also a new-age immigrant from mainland China. While drifting around in the United States for 10 years, I also pondered a lot over the question of “who I really am in this foreign country.” And when I met this group of people, the auxiliaries in 5th Precinct Chinatown, I found my answer within them.
This is not only a story about the history and the future of NYPD auxiliaries in Chinatown, but it’s more about who these people really are ——these people who left their motherland, and came all the way to a foreign country to build something new. The journey they've been through became part of them.
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