Synopsis: A pandemic challenges a Chinese student on the path to legal immigration while sheltering in her new American home.
HOME FREE was created for the 72 Hour Shootout by the Asian American Film Lab, Isolation Edition, under the theme, Going Viral, and also coincided with the 2020 pandemic shutdown where life slammed to a halt. New York City was the first city under siege. Hate crimes against Asians were on the rise as backlash from COVID19’s origins in Wuhan, China intensified. The 45th President endorsed and repeated terms such as “China Virus” “Corona Chink” and “Kung Flu” that sparked anger and violence toward Asian Americans, mostly women and elderly, whom had no direct connection to China nor the pathogen. As an American-Born-Chinese and Native New Yorker, my concerns for the safety of family, friends and community intensified. We now replaced Blacks, Mexicans and Latinos as the most despised race with no end in sight. Unfortunately I envisioned ICE raids, immigration and internment camps of Asian Americans as a result. Although HOME FREE was based on events while we “sheltered in place,” I regret that hate crimes have only worsened since making this film.
Eddie Shieh 謝宗楷 (pronounced ‘Sh’+’yeah’) is a Native New Yorker, Asian Tourist, Twin Dad by day and Filmmaker at Night. On occasion, he predicts weather with his surgically repaired joints (no app yet).