Trailer for ‘Bad Axe’ Documentary About an Asian American Family
by Alex Billington
September 27, 2022
“It’s a hard time to be going through right now.” IFC has revealed an official trailer for an award-winning documentary called Bad Axe, which first premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. It won the Audience Award for Best Doc and a Special Jury Prize for “Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling” at SXSW, and tons of other awards at festivals throughout this year. Bad Axe tells the story of a Cambodian family who owns a restaurant in rural Michigan throughout 2020. Filmmaker David Siev heads home and films them during 2020 – the tumultuous year the family faced their business being shut down during the pandemic. They also experienced a big increase in racism due to their Asian heritage, dealt with harassment by anti-vaxxers, and the various family members had different reactions to the rise of the BLM movement in their conservative town. The film unveils the complex dynamics within the family, especially between the different generations and each of their takes on all the political strife that we all experienced in 2020. “They’re all as passionate as they are flawed and the film beautifully captures both aspects.” This looks like a very heartfelt, moving film.
Here’s the official trailer (+ poster) for David Siev’s doc Bad Axe, direct from IFC’s YouTube:
After leaving NYC for his own rural hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan, at the start of the pandemic, Asian American filmmaker David Siev documents his family’s struggles to keep their restaurant afloat. As fears of the virus grow, deep generational scars dating back to Cambodia’s bloody “killing fields” come to the fore, straining the relationship between the family’s patriarch, Chun, and his daughter, Jaclyn. When the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement takes center stage in America, the family uses its collective voice to speak out in their conservative community. What unfolds is a real-time portrait of 2020 through the lens of one multicultural family’s fight to stay in business, stay involved, and stay alive. Bad Axe is directed by up-and-coming filmmaker David Siev, making his feature directorial debut after a music video and a few shorts previously. Produced by David Siev, Jude Harris, Diane Quon, Kat Vasquiez. This initially premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and also played at the Mountainfilm Festival. IFC Films will debut Bad Axe in select US theaters + on VOD starting on November 18th, 2022 this fall. Interested?