When 60 year-old Steven, a Caucasian male looking for a young Chinese bride, roams dating websites to find yet another Chinese woman to fulfill his romantic quest, he finds 30 year-old Sandy. Sandy lives in China and quickly responds to Steven’s emails. Before long, Steven visits Sandy in China and brings her back to the United States to get engaged. Sandy’s life is suddenly flipped around as she tries to adjust to a new country and its culture through her possible new husband, who she has only recently met. Sandy doesn’t speak English and Steven doesn’t speak Chinese. The two communicate through a language of their own- through gestures, presents, physical affection and picking up on each other’s moods. Obviously, this creates an unimaginable level of frustration and misunderstandings between the couple, which is how the Chinese American filmmaker, Debbie Lum, starts to mediate their relationship as their translator. As Debbie’s involvement in the couple’s relationship deepens, the trio creates a new dynamic relationship where each is dependent on the other. All the while, the filmmaker’s role documenting her subjects has become questionable as she has become an active influence in her subjects’ lives. As the filmmaker tries to distance herself from the role she has fallen into, their fragile relationship is even further upset. Will the relationship survive or come to a hopeless wreck as skeptics predict? The documentary reveals a close look at the personal stories of the characters, as we come to understand who they are and what drives them to be in this relationship.
An interesting look into the world of online dating where anyone can be as racially specific and biased as they want, SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE reveals how as strange albeit common fetishes and obsessions are encouraged and sought after, this is an example of people finding what they are looking for through these means. The documentary analyzes the mentality behind the mysticism and notions of seeking an Asian woman and what this represents in American culture.
Synopsis written by: Sarah Kim