Golden Gate Girls
When thinking of Asian Americans in classic Hollywood cinema, thoughts usually drift toward actors like Keye Luke or the prolific Anna May Wong.
GOLDEN GATE GIRLS goes behind the camera to reveal the untold story of Esther Eng, one of the first female Chinese American directors in the United States. Born in San Francisco, the slick-haired Eng drew her inspiration from the traditional Chinese opera, directing and producing her first films by the age of 19.
With no film or audio records, filmmaker Wei paints a picture of the auteur with photo albums and stories from historians and close relatives. As a queer female director, Eng broke boundaries set forth by her predecessors, which have yet to be matched by her successors. GOLDEN GATE GIRLS uncovers some of the ambiguity behind the mysterious director while recognizing Eng’s achievements — such as directing 36 HEAVENLY AMAZONS, arguably China’s first all-female feature.