It’s a story and a film that has been preserved for generations to come.
The first movie ever made by an Asian American sat in dusty canisters in the corner of the basement for decades, reports KQED.
Curse of Quon Gwon remained largely unseen. Made in 1916 and starring Violet Wong, it was written and co-directed by Violet’s sister-in-law, Marion.
It’s the story of two Americanized Chinese immigrants and was designed to counter stereotypes.
“Her intention was to show the world that we were everyday people,” Gregory Mark, Violet’s grandson said. “That we were not all opium fiends, the women (were not all) prostitutes. Everyone (wasn’t) a laundryman.”
Unfortunately, distributors refused to show the film in theaters back in 1916.
A combination of prejudice and the small population of Chinese at the time doomed the film.
Curse of Quon Gwon gets a showing today at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center at 3pm. Dozens of the filmmakers descendants are expected to attend the screening.
If you couldn’t get to the screening, you can rent it on Vimeo on Demand for less than $2.
So how was this film resurrected for so many years? You can find out how in the clip below from KQED.