Movie Short Review: ‘Americanized’

Greetings again from the darkness. High School is a challenging time for most kids. Nothing feels worse than being an outsider. Writer-director Erica Eng tells the story of a basketball player caught between two cultures – an outsider in both. She’s Chinese but doesn’t speak the language, so the Asian students can talk about her right to her face. At her Oakland high school, she’s on the basketball team, but even amongst her teammates, she’s the outcast.

Terry Hu stars as Hu. She lives with her Chinese grandmother, who, thankfully, works wonders with a hard-boiled egg. Eng’s 17 minute short film doesn’t dig too deeply, but still manages to convey the insecurities and frustration of teenage years. The basketball scenes are better than most of what we’ve seen in movies, but it’s Ms. Hu’s performance that allows us to feel what she feels. Erica Eng has expertly captured her own experience as a high school student, and in the process, announced herself as a filmmaker to keep an eye on.

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