RallyDirected by Rooth Tang
Official Selection, 2023 San Francisco International Film Festival
Who is Rose Pak? Here are three facts: 1. She was often seen at San Francisco’s annual Chinese New Year Parade loudly roasting local politicians on a PA system as they passed beneath her podium. 2. She was an undocumented immigrant for decades, and bravely spoke in front of the very same immigration service that could deport her. 3. Nobody was neutral about Rose Pak. Some considered her a political activist that protected and advanced the lives of people in Chinatown; others accused her of being a foreign agent.
For better or worse, Pak was the unofficial “kingmaker” of San Francisco who aided or orchestrated the election of at least five mayors of San Francisco, including Ed Lee, the first Asian American to hold the job. “Auntie Rose,” as she was called by her fans, represents the free spirit of US democracy: the savviness to speak your mind, the care for community, the determination to make a change, and the strategy to make all these ideas impossible to say no to.
Through RALLY’s portrait of Rose Pak, we witness the backroom dynamics of city politics, the rise of civil rights engagement within Chinese American communities since the 1970s, as well as the distrust, discontent, and even discrimination from white liberals. Tensions emerge, allyships form, and the rest is the tale of a woman who decisively was the spine of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
– Wentao Ma
Filmmaker scheduled to attend.
Screening to be followed by Q&A.