SPOTLIGHT, 12min., Canada, Drama
Directed by Peter CS Lee
Cradling his newborn son in his home, Andrew is confronted by his father causing him to relive moments of trauma from his upbringing. Revisiting cruel lessons from his teenage years on avoiding cigarettes, respecting elders and controlling emotions, Andrew questions his ability to raise his own son.
“Spotlight” aims to show the effect of East Asian generational trauma as it is passed from father to son. I think it can be very easy for young adults - and in this case, Chinese-Canadian young adults - to villanize and blame their parents for their shortcomings and confusion with their own identity. Andrew, the main character of “Spotlight”, discovers that at the root of his own trauma, is the continuation of a cycle passed from generation to generation.
Identifying the starting place of generational trauma makes it easier to acknowledge one’s own trauma, have sympathy for one’s family and find the love that exists between family despite the chasms of pain that comes with it. I hope audiences - especially Asian audiences - will be able to connect with this film and find some catharsis through knowing they're not alone.