Resources:‘Prison destroys every human dignity’: Free Chol Soo Lee and the miscarriage of justice that united Asian-Americans

Free Chol Soo Lee paints a portrait of California in the 70s, full of radical college students, but its themes feel pertinent today. “The violence that Asian-Americans have faced lately has been in the news so much,” Director Eugene Yi says (anti-Asian hate crimes have risen around the world since the start of the pandemic). He sees the film as a way to “present these images of resistance to inspire people”, as well as open up conversations on criminal justice reform within the community. Lee’s story challenges the “model minority” myth often associated with Asian-Americans: he struggled with institutionalization and addiction, and after his release, was open about the difficulties of adjusting to life after prison and with his fame. For Yi, the story “presents this opportunity to ask what we expect of our heroes and our symbols, and the kind of perfection we expect.” 

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