The Need for Asian American representation in the media: Five films that recognize the AAPI community

Image Source: Los Angeles Times

Film and the media are all around us. New movies and shows are often being released and have been known to impact the public heavily. As more films continue to be released, more and more of them are striving to make an impact on minorities in the LGBTQ+ community, the Latinx community, and many more.

As a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, one community that I want to focus on is Asian American representation in the media. In recent years, a number of films centering on Asian American issues have been released to the public in order to showcase and raise awareness as to what this community has been and continues to go through. 

Especially in the past year or so, hate crimes and hate incidents targeted toward Asian Americans have increased drastically. This means that films showcasing and honoring the AAPI community are needed now more than ever. 

Nowadays, Asian American representation in the media continues to grow, especially as movies honoring the community have gone on to receive critical acclaim at film festivals or Oscar nominations.

Below are five movies that represent the AAPI community, including their traditions, lifestyles, and societal issues. They’re great movies that I recommend you check out!

  1. Crazy Rich Asians – 2018

Released in August 2018, Crazy Rich Asians follows main character Rachel Chu, who accompanies her boyfriend to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore and discovers how wealthy his family is. This movie showcases the difference in social classes in China and the impact that social class inequality has on one’s family and environment.

  1. The Farewell – 2019

Released in July 2019, The Farewell grapples with the impending death of a loved one in Asian culture. In order to not burden her grandmother with the news that she only has a few weeks to live, Billi and her family decide to have a fake wedding to see her for the last time.

  1. Parasite – 2019

In October 2019, Parasite was released and left a large impact on movie viewers as a thrilling satire that tackled social class conflict, poverty, and wealth disparity in Asia. The movie follows a poverty-stricken family – the Kims – who serve a wealthy family, the Parks. The movie outlines the ways in which working-class families must fight to survive while wealthy families continue to live comfortably. 

  1. Minari – 2020

Released in January 2020, Minari is a story about immigration through the eyes of a Korean-American family. The movie talks about multiple struggles the family faced during their move to America to start a farm and make a better life for themselves.

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once – 2022

Released in March 2022, Everything Everywhere All at Once became one of the top-grossing movies of the year as it speaks about generational trauma and self-reflection from an Asian American perspective. The movie follows a Chinese immigrant who explores various universes and connects with the lives she could’ve led.