It’s been nearly three months since me, members of the Visual Communications crew, and other APA organizers led the charge into Park City, UT to pull off the latest edition of the Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City. Frankly, #APAParkCity is now a faded memory, lost in all the calamity that has upended the world since late January. These days, all forms of public gatherings, from film and music festivals, concerts, conventions, even coffee-house gatherings are all off-limits. And to be perfectly candid about it, it eats at all of us whose lives are predicated on community-building, given that in America, we are being led by those actively engaged in segregating and tearing down communities. But that conversation is for another posting, and for another day and time.
Instead, I’ve been using this “shelter-in-place” practice to catch up on working on filmed documentation made over the past year or so. First up: a short conversation I conducted with an old friend originally from the East Coast, Bao Nguyen. Baoster, who created an ingenious PSA as part of a public health initiative for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, has since been busy as a cinematographer, producer, and director of mostly non-fiction cinema. On this occasion, Bao was in Park City to World-Premiere his latest work BE WATER, an ESPN-commissioned documentary feature about the “American’ years of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee. Instead of wasting a lot of copy space telling readers what I thought about the film (and there certainly was a lot to commend it for; I was pleased to see the direction that Bao took in conceiving and producing what could have been a by-the-numbers sports documentary), this conversation with Bao from Monday, January 27, 2020 took in quite a bit more than just a rehash of a film that people will be screening soon enough.