Alumnus Harry Chuck discussed his documentary “Chinatown Rising”

Author: Lauren Wissot,
May 26, 2022

"For over four decades, 20,000 feet of 16mm-shot film sat untouched in the San Francisco home of lifetime Chinatown resident Reverend Harry Chuck. The footage was supposed to serve as the basis for Chuck’s sweeping graduate thesis, “Chinatown San Francisco: A Community in Transition.” But then life invariably got in the way, and the epic cinematic history of one marginalized community’s generational struggles—‘60s-radicalized youth vs. their “keep your head down” elders raised under the threat of the Chinese Exclusion Act—was never completed. Until now.

With the help of son/co-director and producer Josh Chuck (himself a longtime Chinatown-focused filmmaker, fundraiser and youth worker), Harry’s personal and political history is now set to see the public light on May 26 as part of World Channel’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) programming. The father-son duo’s America ReFramed doc Chinatown Rising features enlightening contemporary interviews with the era’s prominent activists (as well as an elder), juxtaposed with the treasure trove of footage. All insightfully narrated, both onscreen and in VO, by the now-octogenarian, first-time feature filmmaker himself.

Documentary is honored that the former Youth Director and later Executive Director of Cameron House (an organization founded “to build strength and resilience through family-centered programs” for San Francisco's Chinese community), co-founder of the Chinatown Coalition for Better Housing, onetime member of both the Public Housing Authority and Juvenile Justice Commission in San Francisco—not to mention one of the first Asian American religious leaders to advocate for marriage equality—found time in his still-active schedule to serve as May’s Doc Star of the Month."

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