DER Documentary

Good Luck Soup

Matthew Hashiguchi
color, 57 min, 2017
in English



When we think of Asian America, Cleveland is not the first place that comes to mind. In Good Luck Soup, filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi shows us why this often overlooked part of the country is as important as others in understanding the Asian American story. Through interviews, personal home movies and thoughtful narration by the filmmaker, Hashiguchi shows us what it was like to grow up mixed race in a predominantly white Midwestern neighborhood, where it wasn't always welcoming or accepting.

The journey for the Hashiguchi family begins with Matthew's grandmother, Eva, who moved to the Cleveland area following her family's internment during World War II. Though she and many other Japanese Americans were invited to the area, assimilating, working and living with the regions black and white population was an ongoing struggle.

These obstacles did not end with Eva and her generation. Eva's three children grew up in Cleveland's black and white neighborhoods in the 60s and 70s and also found it difficult to fit in. When Cleveland Public Schools launched a bussing program in the 60s, which sent students from inner city, black neighborhoods into white schools, Eva's daughter, Beverly, found herself in the middle of a confusing and tumultuous racial struggle between blacks and whites.

Even as the family assimilated into the community through interracial marriage, the confusion and struggle persisted. Eva's six grandchildren are half-white and half-Asian, and grew up in white, Catholic neighborhoods. And though each grandchild had one parent who matched the race, religion and culture of their community, they were still confronted with racism, bullying and bigotry as a result of their Asian heritage.

For filmmaker Matthew Hashiguchi, the inability to fit in created a struggle with his own racial and cultural identity, and in Good Luck Soup, Matthew takes us on a personal journey to uncover and understand his racial identity while growing up mixed race in white suburbia.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
CAAM Doc Fund Award, Center for Asian American Media, US, 2016
Best Local Documentary, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, US, 2016
Seattle Asian American Film Festival, US, 2017
Cleveland International Film Festival, US, 2016
American Documentary Film Festival, 2016
Mixed Remixed Festival, US, 2016
Powell Street Festival, Canada, 2016
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, US, 2016

TV Broadcasts
America ReFramed, US Broadcast, 2017

Related Resources
Film Site

Related Films
Brownsville Black and White
Race or Reason
Two Towns of Jasper
La Memoire Dure

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
Join Our Mailing List
Suport DER
Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts