At a maternity ward in the 1960s and 1970s, Mexican-American mothers were frequently pushed into tubal ligations in the late stages of labor.
The filmmaker takes to the road to see what it means to be Asian American in our rapidly-changing society.
Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose directing credits include the nationally televised documentaries, Calavera Highway (PBS), "The Mexico Story" of The New Americans series (PBS), My Journey Home (PBS), Labor Women (PBS), My America...or Honk if You… Love Buddha (PBS), The Last Beat Movie (Sundance Channel), The Best Hotel on Skid Row (HBO), and Who Killed Vincent Chin? (PBS). Her films have premiered at festivals around the world including Cannes, San Francisco, Sundance, Toronto, and the Whitney Biennial. Among her honors are a Peabody Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, the Alpert Award in the Arts for Film/Video, International Documentary Association Achievement Award, and two Rockefeller Foundation fellowships in documentary film. Tajima-Peña is a USA Broad Fellow in media arts, and a professor and graduate director of the social documentation program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
A rollicking ride across the changing terrain of American culture, Renee Tajima-Peña's documentary odyssey recaptures the spirit of Jack Kerouac's novel, On the Road, Asian American style. Tajima-Peña recalls her childhood, back in the days when her vacationing family crossed five state lines without ever seeing another Asian face, and hits the road again to explore just how much the racial and cultural landscape of America has changed. Driving coast-to-coast, she seeks out what it means to be Asian American in our rapidly-changing society and comes across an ecclectic group of offbeat and distinctive people.