Q&A with Sean Wang

In his feature debut, Sean Wang, hot on the heels of his Oscar-nominated documentary short Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó, crafts a poignant and humorous narrative that captures the essence of adolescence in 2008 California. Thirteen-year-old Chris, aka Wang Wang (Izaac Wang), navigates the treacherous waters of teenage life, from awkward dating to ruining friendships, while discovering his passion for skateboard filming. Wang deftly employs timeless coming-of-age tropes, exposing the embarrassing and hilarious moments that define this pivotal stage. However, it is Chris’s struggle with his identity as an Asian American that elevates the film. Joan Chen and Shirley Chen deliver nuanced performances as Chris’s mother and sister, respectively, adding depth to the family dynamics. Wang’s nonfiction background lends authenticity and an insightful touch to this resonant dramedy, reminding us that the journey to self-discovery is universal, regardless of one’s background, and that the path to understanding oneself is often paved with both laughter and tears. Winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic and U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award: Ensemble. A Focus Features release.

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