Slaying the Dragon gave the audience a look inside the world of Asian actresses. The entertainment industry is very different for women of Asian descent. I never realized how difficult it was for these women in the earlier years of the film industry. Even today, when asked to name famous Asian actresses, I had a hard time thinking of more than two or three. The Asian women interviewed in this film spoke candidly about their experiences in the entertainment industry. This film shows a comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asia and Asian American women since the silent era.
One point that the film brought up was that many white women played Asian women in early Hollywood films. One actress who frequently played an Asian woman was Katherine Hepburn. I can't imagine how insulted I would be if I was an Asian actress who was losing roles to an American woman. The movie also showed the successes of Anna May Wong's sinister dragon lady, Suzie Wong and the '50 s geisha girls and the Asian-American anchorwoman of today. One of the anchorwomen who was interviewed spoke about the stereotypes of exoticism and docility that have affected the perception of Asian-American women. She spoke about how her boss didn't like when she stood up for herself and made radical decisions to cut her hair.
The stereotypes for Asians are never ended; generally we assume that they are quiet, smart, good in math and science and passive. This movie tried to devour these stereotypes and give the audience an inside look into the minds of the Asian women interviewed. I have a good friend from high school who is Korean and having grown up with her, I have watched her struggle with acceptance and trying to overcome these horrible stereotypes. When we reached our junior year in high school and began looking at colleges, she decided that she wanted to attend a college where she wouldn't be one of the only Asian girls. Growing up in a small rural community, she often felt like an out cat in our white high school. She is now attending SUNY Buffalo and is very happy that she is in a more diverse community.
Slaying the Dragon made me think about the stereotypes that we as Americans place on the Asian people we come in contact with. I know that other races also stereotype Americans; as horrible as it may be, it's hard not to stereotype people of other races. This film made me realize how frustrating these stereotypes can be for people of other races, and how much they can affect how they live their lives.