Learn about the inner conflict of the ‘Bicultural’ family’s perfect daughter. Which would she choose—her family or her own identity?
“Bicultural” is an award-winning short film starring and written by Filipino-American activist Rachel Leycon, with Katie Lynn Stoddard and Topher Park as supporting cast members. It tells the story of a young woman torn between living her world as the perfect daughter of an Asian household or living her world the way she wants it to be.
WARNING: Spoilers alert. Read at your own risk.
The screen opens to Grace, played by Rachel Leycon herself, on the roof of her car while staring at the night sky, explaining to the viewers how when two stars collide, they either become a black hole sucking everything apart or merge as one harmonious unit. And while she has not seen what happens when two worlds collide instead, she feels like she’s living in the midst of it, and it’s only a matter of time before a collision happens.
The next scene shows Grace’s Filipino family celebrating Lola’s 60th birthday at home. She is joined by her parents, cousins, and boyfriend, Junjie, whom her family is fully in favor of, even being the subject of Lola’s birthday wish as she hopes for the two to get married before she dies. Grace smiles awkwardly at Junjie as the conversation transpires while holding his hand. A little while later, Junjie leaves the dinner table and is seen being handed a small box by Grace’s father as the two of them share a glance.
Over dinner, Grace’s cousin, Angelo, plays with a male companion teasingly and loudly, with Grace’s dad looking at them sharply while gripping his utensils. He asked Angelo to help him get the beer, only for him to corner him in the hallway and reprimand him harshly, saying “No touching!” even dropping the F word (seriously? In this era, Uncle?) and threatening what he would do should Angelo and his partner show a display of affection again. Hearing the slight commotion, Grace tries to get in between the arguments and calm her father down. Her father walks out from them to get back to the family dinner as if nothing happened. Grace says sorry to her cousin, and Angelo just nods and smiles in acceptance and says he is used to it and that he is sorry for Grace, too. The cousins share a painful look at each other. Grace decided to get out of the house to get some fresh air.