There's more to it than just the bars, of course; the video, from creator Kyoko Takenaka, is an exploration of a lot of aspects of Asian-American identity, particularly for women. I just watched the bar scene first, via Instagram, in which Takenaka secretly records the things she's overheard people saying in bars.
These are real-life audio recordings from men who came up to me in bars. I made this film, HOME, encapsulating over 7 years of recorded micro-aggressions. It's a visual + sonic collage of my experiences growing up in America as an Asian-american femme.
As I sat there in disbelief every time digesting the audacity of these men, recording and archiving allowed me the space and chi to know that one day, my anger and trauma would be used for something; it would not swallow or eat me whole then or now.
Art is such a healing medium in this way and has quite literally saved my life through many traumas inexpressible in words alone. It's my hope that asian americans turn to expression now and imagine and listen deeply to their own unique insight during this time of deep rage and grief.
In case you're not convinced, here's the official synopsis for the rest of the film:
In "Home," artist and filmmaker Kyoko Takenaka unveils a visual and sonic portrait of belonging and memory in four chapters. Calling upon the experiences that underline their otherness as an Asian-American, the film chronicles their contemplations through original song and poetry, as well as video clips, audio recordings and digital conversations captured from real-life experiences over the span of seven years. Through references to pop culture, racist imitations of Asians, and a defining return to their childhood home, "Home" is a multimedia statement on how the affirmation of culture, resistance and resilience can disrupt enduring myths and redeem our histories.