PEEL ME is an award-winning film made by us, The Banana Times, that began its film festival run in July at the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival. Our next step is to bring our film to as many film festivals as we can, meaning PEEL ME won’t be available on our Youtube channel until our festival run is over. But we will be periodically uploading short clips from the film to let everyone know what PEEL ME is all about! This week’s clip features Andrew Kim, an actor who was part of the play The Boat People, which was recently featured at the Hamilton Fringe Festival.
A Clip from PEEL ME – The Grey Area of a Banana
In this clip Andrew refers to a very common issue of cultural identity crisis many Asians in North America experience due to their parents being immigrants or themselves being immigrants as well. I had the pleasure to watch the play he was in, The Boat People by Sylvia Vuong, and it tells a true and universal tale regarding the struggles of the countless Asian immigrants that had to leave their homeland and flee to the West. As a result of this mass-migration of our previous generation, many of our generation experience struggles with culture and identity. But of course, our current problems, which are at times overdramatic and immature, are nothing compared to those who came before us.
Andrew can be considered lucky in a sense, to be able to distinguish himself from set archetypes of Asian-North American cultural identity. He realizes that because of his Korean ethnicity, he is never going to be Caucasian-Canadian. Nor can he be fully Korean due to some of the Western cultures and influences he’s been brought up with. The term “grey area” rarely has a positive connotation. But when it comes to the context of the “Banana”, I think we should take pride in being part of the grey area. We are not purely white nor purely Asian in any sense, but somewhere in between. It has been birthed out of two extremes into something new that has a global following and relevance. What’s not to be proud of?