2020 has been a difficult year. People have faced many struggles amid this pandemic. But in the various films released this year, I was able to find solace. Despite the struggles around me, these stories were still able to give me comfort, inspire me and distract me from the world outside.
Here are my top five films from 2020 that centered on Asian stories!
1 The Half of It
The Half of It is about a young queer Chinese-American girl living in a small town with her non-English speaking dad. It follows her growth as she embraces who she is and gains true friends.
I have previously talked about the importance of this film in showing diverse, nuanced Asian identities. I stand by that completely. As the year ends, this film remains one of my top films of 2020.
2 Over the Moon
Over the Moon is about a girl named Fei Fei who travels to meet the moon goddess after her mother dies. But don’t be deceived by the gorgeous animation and lyrical songs alone. The film tackles complex themes, like loss of family and acceptance of changes in life that are beyond our control.
The struggle to build intergenerational relationships is something many children of immigrants will understand. Tigertail follows complex familial dynamics and conflicts. The disconnect between parents' and their child’rens struggles stems from a lack of openness and communication.
“Tigertail” aims to explore this dynamic as it follows the story of a family over decades.
4 The Call
In a complete 180°, this next film is a thriller--I always have to have one scary film in my top movies list.
The Call is not your classic thriller. It begins with two women who can communicate with each other using an old cell phone despite the fact that they each live in a different decade. At first, they help each other, one woman influencing the past to benefit the other woman's present. But when things don’t go as planned, the plot begins to twist.
I have to admit I have not seen this film yet, but still it makes the list. Minari was released at Sundance in January of this year and received overwhelming support. It had a limited release on December 11, but will not be released worldwide until next February.
Minari follows the journey of a newly immigrated Korean family as they adapt to the American midwest and try to achieve the American Dream. I really can’t wait to see it!