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Complexities of Race

Down a Dark Stairwell
February 19, 2021 - 4:00 pm

Please note: this free screening is limited to UCLA students, faculty, staff and alumni. Pre-order must be made with a UCLA email address.

Screening is restricted to viewers within the United States. Space is limited. After this screening becomes available February 19 at 4 p.m. (PT), you will have 24 hours to start watching. Once you begin, you'll have 4 hours to finish watching.

The screening includes a pre-recorded conversation with filmmakers Ursula Liang and Allison A. Waite. Moderated by filmmaker, UCLA Asian American Studies Department professor and UCLA Center for EthnoCommunications director Renee Tajima-Peña.

Liquor Store Babies (2018)

A deeply personal documentary portrait of two Los Angeles-based Korean American liquor store owners told from the perspective of their children who seek to explore how their lives have been shaped and made possible by their parents’ labor. Part of Visual Communications’ Armed with a Camera program.

Color, in Korean and English with English subtitles, 5 min. Director: So Yun Um.

Thank You, Come Again (2020)

In the aftermath of a hate crime, an undocumented Indian American convenience store clerk falls into his subconscious, plummeting through reality, memory and imagination as he grieves the death of his father. Part of Visual Communications’ Armed with a Camera program.

Color, in Gujarati and English with English subtitles, 11 min. Director-Screenwriter: Nirav Bhakta. With: Nirav Bhakta, Rohan Singh, Asit Vyas.

The Dope Years: The Story of Latasha Harlins (2021)

A personal retelling of the life and death of 15-year-old African American teenager Latasha Harlins, who was fatally shot in South Los Angeles by Korean American Empire Liquor store owner Soon Ja Du in 1991. A filmic portrait that seeks to remember her killing as the initial spark that ignited the 1992 Los Angeles uprising.

Color, 20 min. Director: Allison A. Waite. Screenwriter: Allison A. Waite, Menu’Ette Silver. With: Iyanna Halley, Simone Baker, Crystal Lee, Deborah Marcano, Thyais Walsh.

Down a Dark Stairwell (2021)

Special sneak preview screening

In the fall of 2014, Chinese American police officer Peter Liang shot and killed an innocent, unarmed Black man named Akai Gurley. Unfolding in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project, the shooting inflamed the residents of New York City and thrust two marginalized communities into the uneven criminal justice system together. Liang, 28, joined a high-decibel national conversation about race and the justice system, one that got louder just days later when an officer in Cleveland, Ohio, shot and killed a 12-year-old African American boy playing with a toy gun. This urgent and necessary documentary holds a microscope to Liang, who became the first NYPD officer in over a decade to receive a guilty verdict for an officer-involved shooting. This film will premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens on April 12, 2021.

Color, in Cantonese, Mandarin and English with English subtitles. 83 min. Director: Ursula Liang.