"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
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.