BAD AXEDirected by David Siev
- Special Presentations
- 102 mins
Audience Award for Documentary Feature, 2022 SXSW Film Festival
Audience Award, 2022 Traverse City Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature, 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
In 2020, lockdowns and relocations drew the tight-knit Siev family even closer. All the children once again live under the same roof—this time with their partners and pets—helping out with the family restaurant so that their parents, Chun and Rachel, can finally take a bit of time off. It’s during this time that the family patriarch, having survived the Killing Fields as a child, must come to terms with his trauma against the backdrop of something that scares him even more: a pandemic that is straining his relationship with his eldest daughter Jaclyn.
This time capsule of 2020—a moment defined by a politicized pandemic, racial tensions, and a presidential election—is at its heart an intimate portrait of a Cambodian Mexican American family in rural Michigan. It’s also a “love letter to Bad Axe,” according to filmmaker David Siev, though not everyone may see it that way. Some in town boycott the family restaurant because David and his siblings, Jaclyn and Raquel, attended a protest in support of Black Lives Matter. Some oppose the restaurant’s masking policy after businesses started to reopen. Some tell the family to “go back to Cambodia,” despite the fact that they have been a part of this community for over 20 years.
Produced by Diane Quon (Minding The Gap, SDAFF Spring Showcase ‘18), this quintessentially American story reminds us that fighting for survival only matters if you can heal together with those you love.
Admission includes outdoor pre- and post-screening receptions.