Dangerous to Know: Anna May Wong
by Yunah Hong

[February 27, 2004]


"Anna May Wong" will be the first feature length documentary about the life and times of Anna May Wong (1905-1961), a premier Chinese American film star and stage actress who achieved worldwide fame in the 1920s and the 1930s.

During her time, as an Asian American actress, Anna May Wong's career and her complex personal life were greatly affected by racism of her times including the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), “yellow-faced makeup”, typecasting, a ban on on-screen kiss and interracial relationships. The documentary will reveal how an all-American daughter of a Chinese laundryman struggled to become an international star, a member of high society, and an activist because of--and in spite of--racism and sexism.  It will also explore how Wong's cinematic images have shaped Americans perceptions of Asian women in America over the past eighty years since Wong first appeared in film.

Today her life story and career-defining struggles resonate among all young women of color who are forced to deal with issues of race, identity, and career.  “Dangerous to Know: Anna May Wong” will elucidate how her life story is an integral part of our American cultural history.

The production is scheduled to commemorate Wong's centennial in Fall of 2005 with festival screenings and a broadcast of the documentary in the U.S. and abroad in 2006.




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