Chinatown: Immigrants in America

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Chinatown: Immigrants in America
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Chinatown: Immigrants in America
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Each year some 20,000 Chinese immigrants arrive in New York City. Though few speak English, all know one word - "Chinatown."

Tourism is the major industry of Chinatown, but beneath a veneer of firework-filled celebrations are a people desperately struggling against language and cultural barriers. Poverty dominates. Chinatown's dilapidated housing is the oldest in the city, yet rents are among the highest. Tuberculosis and diabetes rates are three times the national average.

"This is the story of our neighbors," says co-Producer/Director Jon Alpert, and the resulting "reportage from within" reveals kitchen workers earning less than $100 for sixty-hour weeks and garment workers laboring for microscopic wages in hazardous conditions.

Focusing on individual stories to expose broader issues, Chinatown: Immigrants in America is an unflinching document of Asian immigrants under pressure to assimilate into mainstream culture and struggling to survive in America. It provides crucial insight for discussions on immigration, ethics and the Chinese community in American cities.

Release Date: 
1976

Credits

Producer
Jon Alpert
Producer
Keiko Tsuno
Producer
Yoko Maruyama

Awards

DuPont-Columbia Citation for Broadcast Journalism
Christopher Award

Reviews

"A fascinating story.”
The New York Times
"A revealing, often startling, documentary ... An eye opener."
The Village Voice
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