Screening of The Search for General Tso by Ian Chenney. As much an immigration history as a culinary one, this entertaining and informative documentary uses the ubiquitous Americanized Chinese dish, General Tso’s chicken, as a lens onto a larger story of migration, adaptation and innovation in American popular culture. Early on, the film poses the question, “If Chinese Americans comprise only 1% of the U.S. population, why are there Chinese restaurants in almost every city across America?” The filmmakers seek the answer in a thoughtful journey through the Chinese American experience, from the arrival of boatloads of immigrants to take part in the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads in the 19th century, all the way to the age of Panda Express.
Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience. The Becoming American series is a three-month public program featuring documentary film screenings and moderated discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.