Ghostlife of Third Cinema Intro & Ch.1 Revisited

Aaron Kim


AsAm Studies

Ghostlife of Third Cinema Intro & Ch.1 Revisited
Book by: Glen Mimura

As an required reading for class material in my Asian American Studies class, Ghostlife of Third Cinema did not attract me. I did not know what to expect, especially because as an Asian American, I felt like I had a good grasp in what fellow Asian Americans can do. Prior to the reading, I knew that the Asian American community had a fair impact in industries such as Hollywood, music, and arts. In a way I kind of felt that even when the Asian Americans leave a huge impact in the production and its equivalence throughout their industry, we are left to technicalities only. That is, we are only credited for the ‘process’ of creating per say a ‘masterpiece’ of a movie, and not the movie as a whole. With this in mind, I began reading Mimura’s book.

Right off the bat of the introduction, Mimura enlightened me in my understanding: “And they have been equally excited to learn about the studio industry contributions made by Asian Americans…since the silent film era” (Intro, xiv, xv). This was particularly surprising because I had no idea that Asian Americans since the Silent films era began producing ‘art’ in a sense of motion picture. With that understanding, one can wonder why the Asian Americans are just fairly recently becoming exposed to the credit of making and producing their form of art through films.

In Chapter 1, Mimura reveals that Asian Americans were brought to America as means of economic fixations; examples include the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Philippines, and Indian labor workers. In this chapter, Mimura brings forth the immigration movements from not only the Asian countries, but also from around the world. The industrial West caused the diaspora from which immigrants (in this case Asians) packed their bags and caused a huge exodus to another country in hopes for prosperity.
Within this, Mimura also talks about the uniqueness of Asians: their resistance to assimilation. Their resistance to adapt and change their cultural beliefs and understandings into one sweetly derived in the land of America eventually led them to be viewed differently in eyes of the advocates of ethnic and racial differences.

Capitalism, the ideal system in which America defiantly prospered against the socialist ideas of other nations, soon became marginalized in aspects of labor. The sudden influx of ‘nearly’ free labor in the sense of Asian immigrants, became pivotal in establishing the powerful country America.

From this, I learnt that Asian Americans in a sense helped build America today, yet still they are not exposed to such credit and acknowledgement. To certain extent, this invisible barrier separating Asians from the rest of immigrants, is slowly beginning to reveal.


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