MAY 18, 2023
CAN | 63 minutes | 2021
Documentary feature film directed by Jimmy Chan
Saving Chinatown – The Rise of The Dragons
Chinese title: 拯救唐人街—龙的传人
A documentary that explores the growing threat of gentrification and the rise in anti-Asian racism that Montreal’s Chinatown and Asian community has been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of racial connotations associated with the COVID-19 virus, the residents and businesses in Montreal’s Chinatown have been experiencing a rise in anti-Asian racism, vandalism and robberies. This documentary explores how the government’s lack of action and support towards Chinatown reveals an underlying issue of gentrification and racism. With developers looking to buy off historical buildings in Chinatown and convert them into commercial and real estate projects, the Chinese community of Montreal has been struggling to convince the government to designate Chinatown as a heritage site so that its historical and cultural value can remain.
With the city lockdown and restrictions, the businesses in Chinatown have been suffering due to lack of traffic and tourism; many of the businesses have been forced to close permanently and the remaining ones are struggling to survive.
The lack of police presence and security in Chinatown has left its businesses and residents vulnerable to increased racial attacks, vandalism and burglaries during the pandemic. Documentary producer and community leader Jimmy Chan has taken matters into his own hands and has started a Security Patrol group to ensure the safety of Chinatown’s residents, businesses and patrons.
This documentary is also based on the 30 years of experiences that film director and producer Jimmy Chan has went through growing up in Montreal’s Chinatown.
Although the documentary takes place in Montreal, it highlights issues that all Chinese communities across North America and America are facing. This documentary not only aims to raise awareness, but also aims to educate the viewer about the historical contributions made by the Chinese that helped build the country of Canada. Additionally, this documentary aims to fight anti-Asian racism by educating and empowering viewers and by promoting diversity and solidarity.
Saving Chinatown – The Rise of The Dragons is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your project.
Director, Producer: Jimmy Chan
Videographers: Norman Woo, Matthew Chan, Steeven Thollot
Editor, Post-Production Music/Sound: Matthew Chan
Production company: Dragon Knights Video Productions