MODEL MINORITY FILM REVIEW
Let’s be clear about where this review is gonna go. Lily Mariye has created an amazing film of complex characters that is driven by an outstanding performance by lead actress Nicole Bloom in her first feature film role. Not only does Nicole command your attention, but she has the ability to weave through the diversity of her character’s emotions without banging the audience over the head with extremes. No doubt she and the other actors have the director to thank for defining all the characters carefully without making them dramatic, dull or one dimensional. While the film deals with an interracial family and some of the issues specific to being hapa, it doesn’t diminish the fact that the issues of family, adolescence, love and pain cannot be understand and the characters being relatable to anyone who sees the film. The story is original, insightful and in the end thought provoking showing the trial and tribulations of life and growing up along with all the hope and joy that life has to offer. In case you didn’t read the first couple of sentences or forgot already, this is a film to put on your “must see” list. We published this review in May 2012 and were one of the first to say”go to this film.” Since then, the positive reviews and multiple awards the film has now gotten just proves our point.
Writer/Director Lily Mariye’s first feature film, Model Minority, has already won multiple awards and is about Kayla Tanaka (Nicole Bloom), who is 16 and half-Japanese, half-white, but totally American. Kayla meets Treyshawn Doty (Delon de Metz), a 19-year-old drug dealer, who is kind and sympathetic about the humiliating secret of Kayla’s mother’s (Jessica Tuck) drug addiction giving her money and love. When Kayla discovers her mother passed out in the neighborhood dealer’s bed, her life spirals out of control. She escapes the harsh realities of life into the fast lane with Treyshawn until she ends up being arrested having been turned in by Treyshawn to save himself. The film also star Chris Tashima who plays Kayla’s father.
Model Minority will be screened at the DC Asian Pacific American International Film Festival on Oct. 7th. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website: DCAPA
For those in Hawaii, Model Minority will screen at the Hawaii International Film Festival on Oct. 18th & 19th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website: HIFF
For those in Boston, Model Minority will be screened at the Boston Asian American Film Festival on Oct. 27th @ 4:00PM. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website: BAAFF
For those in California, Model Minority will screen at the Ojai Film Festival on Oct. 27 & 30th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website: OFF