Centuries and Still is a mixed media illustrated short film telling the history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S. by Vietnamese director Sally Tran.
As with Tran’s previous short 60 Years and Still (see below), which portrays the history of racism and police brutality against Black people in America over six decades, Centuries and Still seeks to unveil how history took part in the birth and perpetuation of today’s surge of anti-Asian discrimination and hate crimes. The search for justice goes back to the Gold Rush era fetishisation of Asian women, to today’s hate crimes targeting Asian elders.
Tran’s artistic approach to visual storytelling through a unique hybrid of documentary and miniature-looking history, and shooting on multiple formats including 16mm and Super 8 film, and VHS and digital format to match the era is meticulously executed, with archival audio and voice overs to anchor the audience in the reality of the past and the present.
It’s a poignant and sobering reminder of how deeply rooted racism is within our society and the need for greater “education in action” to eradicate all forms of hate and discrimination.