Narratively straightforward while still being cinematically experimental, EUREKA by director Miida Chu is a complex character piece wrapped in a historical event that took place in Eureka, CA in the 1800s.

Done primarily in subtitled Cantonese, EUREKA is the story of a young Chinese prostitute in a toxic relationship with her Madame that puts her in danger from violent white folk in the town who are trying to drive out the Chinese people who they feel are trying to take their jobs. The white laborers use any excuse they can as a way to justify their impending genocide of the Chinese people in the town. The sentiment “The Chinese Must Go” is a period-accurate statement that doesn’t feel as “out of time” as it should.

The movie is powerful, with beautiful visuals, emotional dialogue, and riveting performances.

Looking at the director’s biography and then watching this film, you could probably make a statement that the director is trying to remind us that the anti-Asian sentiments that are occurring today have their roots in the hate of yesterday, and that one way to escape the hate is to break through the unhealthy relationships that bind us and allow us to be free to express ourselves without fear of prejudice.

I’m probably reading too much into the film or the director’s intentions, but that’s what good cinema makes us do. Think.

Eureka | November 11, 2021 (United States) Summary: A young indentured Chinese prostitute must overcome her toxic dependency on the brothel madam on the eve of the 1885 anti-Chinese riot in Eureka, California.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: Cantonese, English

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