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When I watched Crazy Rich Asians, I cried. My husband teared up as well, and, according to my Twitter feed, lots of other people did too.
So why is a romantic comedy making people weep?
Time - Experiences - Movies - Years - Film
For a long time, neither Asian American faces nor experiences were well represented in movies. You have to go back 25 years to find a studio-backed film that had a mostly Asian American cast. So when my husband and I watched Crazy Rich Asians and saw people who looked like us and faced similar cultural struggles—feeling like the immigrant outsider—we were overwhelmed.
Why this widespread reaction? Because when we are seen and known, we are acknowledged as human beings with inherent dignity and value. We are neither mistakes nor outsiders. We belong. The beautiful uniqueness of who we are is celebrated, not whitewashed or marginalized.
Experience - Film - Feeling - Reminder - Creator
For me, the experience of watching the film and feeling seen and known by it provided a beautiful reminder that there is One who sees and knows me fully. He is my Creator and perfect Father. When art like this functions as a mirror—when we recognize ourselves and feel seen by it—it can remind us that there is God who created us each uniquely and sees and knows us more intimately than anyone else does. It reminded me, for example, that God created me purposefully as an Asian American.
Does it matter that I am a Christian and Asian? Does God care that I am Asian American?
Answer - Psalm - Psalmist - God - Mother
The answer is resoundingly yes. In Psalm 139, the psalmist wrote that God “knitted me together in my mother’s womb,” that he was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God is intentional in who he creates us to be.
We are all made in his image, and our Asian Americanness is a part of that. Our heritage, our struggle to fit...
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