Random Acts of Legacy

Canada201677 minEnglishDocumentary

From a pile of deteriorating 16 mm home movies from 1936 to 1951, a moving story emerges of a Chinese American family, set against the backdrop of race and class in Chicago. Rescued from an online auction, the filmmaker’s quest to make sense of these home movies connects him with Irena Lum, the surviving daughter of the graphic artist and collector Silas Henry Fung. The retrieved footage offers an intimate and radically different visual perspective on the Chinese American community in Chicago—with a surprising feminist twist. 


Best Documentary Award, CAAMFest, San Francisco, 2017

Honorable Mention for Best Canadian Feature Documentary, Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, 2016

Special Mention for Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian American Festival, 2016

Director Bio

Ali Kazimi

Ali Kazimi is Reel Asian’s Canadian Artist Spotlight in 2021. Appropriately for our 25th festival, the documentary filmmaker, media artist, activist, author, and educator  has been a fixture in the Asian Canadian community, and we celebrate his over three decades of vital contributions to Canadian media. In 2019, Kazimi became the first Indo Canadian to receive the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts award winner. His documentary and media-arts work deals with race, social justice, migration, and memory, and emphasizes essential connections across racialized communities, between personal and public, through past and present. 

Born, raised, and educated in India, Kazimi came to Canada to study film production at York University in 1983. Two decades later, after receiving over two-dozen awards and honours as an independent filmmaker, Kazimi returned to York, where he is currently an associate professor in the cinema and media arts department.

10 Nov, 2021

to 19 Nov, 2021





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