Cast: Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Sui, Nana Ghana, Vivian Bang
Official Selection, 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Audience Award, 2018 Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
Clad in white jumpsuit and wig, Sophia walks her handbag-cum-amplifier into a supermarket and lets out a silent immigrant scream. For a brief riveting moment, Sophia becomes the weird, arctic, lone voice at the center of the universe. Channeling an elderly Asian woman, she wonders out loud about struggling markets and the big box store that’s become her impromptu stage. Is this protest? Art? Insanity? The shoppers may be more interested in cereal, but we can’t stop looking.
WHITE RABBIT gives us a portrait of an Asian American woman unlike any we have seen. Hilarious, anxious, fed up, and unable to stop making art, Sophia (Vivian Bang) spends her nights consuming cheese puffs for social media, and her days hopping around as a Task Rabbit for entitled moms. Because it’s Los Angeles, Sophia is also dodging progressive tears from filmmakers who want to cast her immigrant accent or practice wokeness. Undaunted, Sophia and her portable amp continue their Don Quixote quest, appearing in public parks and freeway islands, delivering lonely monologues filled with earnest post-Rodney King racial question marks. When African-born photographer Victoria (Nana Ghana) challenges Sophia, a heady friendship tinged with romance brings Sophia the politics, art, and deliriously sexy social life she craves, only to discover she may be grasping too hard.
Backed by an excellent soundtrack (The The, Francoise Hardy and Big Thief), the film scores with Sophia and Victoria’s wide-ranging conversations and Bang’s unforgettable presence, with much of its humor and emotional smarts rooted in the absurdities of maintaining purpose as a woman of color. An adaptation of Bang’s live series “Can You Hear Me? / LA 92,” WHITE RABBIT also showcases the power of performance to daylight underground rivers flowing beneath our everyday lives – regardless of who’s watching.
– Christina Ree
Raised behind the counter, two Los Angeles Korean Americans come to terms with their parents career choices.