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2017 Seattle Asian American Film Festival


Directed by Ben Wang

Features / United States / 2016 / Documentary / 60 mins


Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served over 20 years in California prisons and jails. Ben Wang’s BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY paints an intimate portrait of Eddy–the prisoner, the immigrant, the son, the activist–on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation, and redemption.

Co-presented by: Asian Coalition for Equality and F.I.G.H.T.

Director's Bio

Ben is a documentary filmmaker whose previous films include AOKI (Co-Directed with Mike Cheng, 2009 feature documentary film, which screened at SF Int’l Asian American Film Festival, Black Panther Party Film Festival, Chicago Asian American Showcase, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, and Boston Asian American Film Festival) and MAMORI (Director, 2013 short documentary film that screened at CAAMFest). Wang also co-edited “Other: an API Prisoners’ Anthology,” the first anthology of writings and artwork featuring API prisoners.

Preceded By


    Barre Fong / Features / United States / 2016 / Documentary / 41 mins
    On May 4, 1887, San Jose, one of the largest Chinatowns in the West was destroyed by arson in the furor of the anti-Chinese movement. But the Chinese refused to be driven out. Their ally, John Heinlen, fought opposition from City Hall and angry citizens, to build a new Chinatown on his property. The Chinatown, Heinlenville, lasted for 44 years in the era of nativism and the Chinese Exclusion Act. With restrictions on Chinese labor due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinatown ended during the Depression in 1931, and became the City’s corporation yard. Heinlen’s Chinatown was forgotten until a redevelopment project for Japantown uncovered foundations of a historic Chinatown. Through rarely seen historic photos, footage of the excavation and interviews with archaeologists and descendants, DIGGING TO CHINATOWN is the story of people’s struggle against Asian exclusion, of battles lost and won that define our society and identity today.