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Asian American Film Ephemera Collection

Curated by rare book dealer George Minkoff, the Asian American Film Ephemera Collection was purchased by Houghton Library in 2008 and donated to the Harvard Film Archive in 2010. It consists of books, pressbooks, presskits, film stills, lobby cards, mini-posters and twenty-eight one-sheet posters from films that portray Asians and Asian Americans (and occasionally British Asians)—regardless of the actual ethnicity of the actors—from the period of approximately 1917 – 2006. Material in the collection represents 175 films made primarily in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Italy and France. With the exception of films by Justin Lin, Wei Luo, Yasujiro Ozu, Gurinder Chadha, Taiji Yabushita and Kazuhiko Okabee, the majority of these films were not directed by Asian filmmakers and are often presented from a Western viewpoint.

Many featuring controversial depictions of Asian people, the films range from the classic to the obscure, covering different countries and genres. A sampling of the array: Byron Haskin's Man-Eater of Kumaon (1948), Seymour Friedman's Chinatown at Midnight (1949), Jean Renoir's The River (1951), Edward Dmytryk's The Left Hand of God (1955), Henry Koster's Flower Drum Song (1961), Daniel Petrie's The Main Attraction (1962), Anton Leader's Children of the Damned (1963), Henry Levin's Ghengis Khan (1965), Gurinder Chada's Bend it Like Beckham (2002), Louis Leterrier's Unleashed (2005), as well as rarities such as Robert Crouse's Game of Death (1978)—Bruce Lee's last film appearance—and Carlos Vander Tolosa's Filipino production Guerilla Women (AKA Outrages of the Orient) from 1950. 

A finding aid for the Asian American Film Ephemera Collection can be found here.

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