Sheriff’s Department faces outrage in Lakeside over alleged stabbing of Black girl
S1: An attack in Lakeside is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The racism is.
S2: Alive and we.
S1: Have a victim this.
S2: Week from heinous acts of. Violence.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. San Diego's probation department for juvenile offenders is being investigated.
S2: Research actually backs this up and shows that room confinement can have long term effects on both physical and mental health all the way into adulthood.
S1: We dive into how inflation is impacting San Diegans and what's on the horizon. Plus , we'll have a preview of San Diego's Asian Film Festival. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Last night at a town hall meeting in Lakeside , the sheriff's department told community members that a 16 year old white boy who they believe stabbed a 16 year old black girl over the weekend , was arrested Monday and booked on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime allegation. Community members attending the town hall say the attack is yet another example of unchecked racism in East County. A new SANDAG report shows 70% of hate crimes committed in the county in 2021 were racially motivated , according to the sheriff's department. This is the first alleged hate crime it's aware of in Lakeside this year. Joining me now with more details on this developing story is KPBS race and equity reporter Christina Kim. Christina , welcome.
S4: Hey , Jane.
S4: Her name has not been released and her immediate family was not present at the town hall last night. What we do know is that she was released from the hospital where she was taken by paramedics on Saturday night. According to a long time San Diego activist who's in touch with the family. Tasha Williamson , her mother is taking care of the victim and the girl has suffered a collapsed lung.
S4: No more information has really been released on what happened beforehand. But what we do know and what the authorities have said is that 11 p.m. , the assailant attacked the 16 year old black girl , stabbing her two times in the back while allegedly yelling racist slurs. He was accompanied by a group of three adults and another minor who witnesses say were also yelling racist slurs. Lieutenant Wray , who heads up the lakeside substation , says they're also under investigation. As I mentioned , the victim was taken to the hospital by paramedics and the alleged assailant was arrested on Monday on charges of attempted murder and hate crime allegations.
S1: And the sheriff's department charged the 16 year old white boy who they believe stabbed the 16 year old victim. But community members say that adults who are believed to have been present during the attack didn't stop in and are also alleged to have yelled racial slurs. They're saying they should also be charged. What can you tell us about that ? Right.
S4: That's something I heard a lot last night in the two hour community meeting. You know , people were upset. And one thing that community members kept on saying over and over again is we understand that the minor has been arrested and is going to be charged. But what about the three adults ? What responsibility do they bear as their guardians and as adults who are witnessing the situation and really not standing in the way ? What was said by Lisa Weinraub , who's the chief deputy of the juvenile branch of the district attorney's office , is that even though it's horrific behavior , she said she can't prosecute a parent for standing by. She says the law specifically dictates that if someone's a bystander and does nothing more than it's not a crime. I think where people are getting especially a motive is that this hate crime allegation. Right. And once again , a hate crime. You can't be prosecuted for a hate crime just for using hate speech. That alone is not enough of a crime to be prosecuted for under this hate crime allegation. So I think all of those things were kind of getting swirled and really impacting the community and making them just really upset at what happened.
S4: Again , there's just so many feelings that have been brought up in the wake of this violent incident. The sheriff's department has said this isn't really typical for them to host. These town halls are quite rare , but they wanted to start a dialogue and really answer the community's questions about what happened over Easter weekend. You know , they're really aware that the community is hurting and that it's.
S3: Brought up.
S4: A lot of larger issues , specifically for black people and people of color who repeatedly have said that they don't feel safe or protected when they're in East County.
S1: And let's talk about that a bit more. What did community members you spoke with have to say about how this fits into a pattern of racism in East County ? Right.
S4: I mean , this was something that was repeated a lot last night was just black people from all over San Diego County saying that the minute they either moved to San Diego from outside of California , outside of San Diego , or even growing up here , they just constantly have heard that East County is racist. There's all this kind of rhetoric about not feeling safe and about really not venturing out towards East County. Daniel Wilkerson , who's the co-founder of the East County Bipoc , she was raised in East County and she said the following.
S2: And it is a running joke that East County is racist. You've heard L.A. , you've heard White Hills , you've heard all of the things that people put a layer of humor on top of. But that humor is damaging because the racism is real , the racist ism is alive.
S1: And we have a victim.
S2: This week from heinous acts of violence.
S1: Mm hmm. So what has the victim's family had to say about how this crime is being handled by authorities ? Yes.
S4: Again , the family was not present at last night's town hall meeting , but according to Tosha Williamson in Danielle Wilkerson of East County , Bipoc , who set up the Go Fund Me for the family , they said that the family doesn't believe that all the witnesses were properly questioned at the time of the incident and that they were upset that the suspect's home wasn't searched. Furthermore , they say that the family really wants to see the three adults charged , as well as the minor , and they want to see if there's any federal charges that can be brought forth due to the incident.
S4: Today , Wednesday , the charges which have been under review are expected to be filed. And tomorrow the alleged assailant will be showing up in court tomorrow morning. Lieutenant Ray did say that he is open and committed to having another town hall in the next three months to keep the dialogue going. And as for the community members that were present , several organizers have said that the dialogue wasn't enough. They don't feel properly heard. And so they are planning a protest on Saturday to decry what they perceive as white supremacy going unchecked in East County.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS race and equity reporter Christina Kim. Christina , thank you.
S4: Thank you , Jade.
S3: The San Diego County jail system has gotten some heavy criticism this year. In February , the state auditor suggested legislative action might be needed to remedy the high rate of deaths in San Diego jails. Earlier this month , another report decried the high number of excess deaths in county jails. Now comes news that a critical eye has been focused on San Diego's probation department for juvenile offenders. Reporter Jill Castellano of i news source joins me with more. And welcome , Jill.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S3: Now , state regulators took a look at the methods of confinement being used in San Diego's probation department , and they were not pleased with what they found.
S2: The state regulations make it very clear that you can only do this. It's called room confinement. If a juvenile poses an immediate danger to themselves or others , and you have to release them as soon as possible. But the state corrections board , when they inspected the San Diego facilities , said officers were using it as a form of discipline and keeping juveniles locked away and isolated in these rooms longer than they really needed to be.
S2: One of their policy says that you'll automatically be locked up in room confinement. If you're caught fighting , you'll get automatically locked up for 4 hours. And if you display , quote unquote , inappropriate behavior , you'll be locked up for 2 hours. But when the state went to inspect these facilities , they couldn't get a clear definition of what that really meant. And when you have these automatic periods of confinement , you're not giving juveniles a chance to be released earlier if they no longer pose a safety danger.
S2: And then the probation department gave me some numbers. They said that about 56 times since the start of last year , there have been confinements over 4 hours. And we don't know what the maximum is , how long they've gone. But once you start getting over 4 hours , you have to have really clear written reasons for why you're doing that.
S2: And when they're placed on room confinement , they're locked in , they're isolated. They probably don't know how long they're going to be there. And that can bring up those traumatic experiences. Research actually backs this up and shows that room confinement can have long term effects on both physical and mental health all the way into adulthood. So the decision to put a child or juvenile behind a locked door is not one that should be made lightly.
S2: And then by March , the county submitted a corrective action plan to describe what they were going to change.
S2: And supervisors have to review any instances of room confinement within one hour.
S2: There are two fully operating facilities currently. There's the East Mesa Detention Center for juveniles whose cases are going through the court system that can take a few days or a few months. And there's a new youth transition campus that opened in January. That's in Kearny Mesa. And it's for juveniles who are found through , which is the juvenile court's version of guilty and are sentenced to out of home rehabilitation. So they're typically there for a year or more.
S3: The East Mesa Detention Center appears to have a number of problems , not just too much room confinement. Isn't that right ? Yeah.
S2: The San Diego Juvenile Justice Commission reviewed the East Mesa facility last year , and they had a number of concerns. One is the commission has been asking probation officers to stop using pepper spray on juveniles for years now. I saw these in reports going back to 2017 , but it's still being used dozens of times each year. So that has come up. And there were other concerns too , like there are not enough nurses or clerical staff. Employee morale is very low and the leadership was not being transparent with staff. At all.
S3: So during all these problems , though , there's been a juvenile justice overhaul going on in San Diego.
S2: It's a $150 million project built based on what the research has shown , helps juveniles recover from whatever may have got them committed in the first place and then reintegrate back into society eventually. They've got education programs on site and clinicians to help with behavioral issues , and they also have things like a basketball court and a garden and an amphitheater. And that's just one facility. There is another facility under construction as well.
S3: I've been speaking with Jill Castellano of I News Source. Jill , thank you very much.
S2: Thank you.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. From the grocery store to the gas pump , prices are higher and paychecks are being squeezed. U.S. inflation rates are the highest they've been in 40 years , increasing 8.5% over last year. And in an already high priced city like San Diego , that inflation pinch can really hurt.
S1: So we wanted to take the temperature of inflation fever in San Diego by talking to people who are trying to make ends meet.
S2: Hi , I'm Chelsea Flynn from San Diego. And inflation has impacted my family's life. We're definitely more conscious of where we're driving because gas is so much more expensive now. Meat prices obviously more expensive , too , so we don't buy as much as we used to. Apples , for some reason , seem to be a lot more than last year. They're like 3 to 350 a pound now. And I know they were at least a dollar per pound less than that last year , definitely pre-COVID. And then our SDG and E bill has been almost twice as much. Last April , I got out the bill with $37 for our gas portion. And for some reason , this last bill is $78 and the one before that , $73. And I mean , our family hasn't changed. We're not adding more people to our house or anything that I think would increase the gas bill.
S1: We got an overview of how inflation affects us all. From SDSU business lecturer Miro Kopec.
S5: The inflation rate for the month of March was 8.5% , which is a major record over the last decade and a half. So most people in their current lifetimes , millennials , Gen Zs , have not seen this degree of inflation and it's fairly disruptive because it's impacting everyday lives in terms of the growth in gas prices. You know , we've seen a 48% increase in gas prices in the last year. We've seen 35% increase in used cars prices in the last year. And so this this inflation has impacted a lot of different things. That has been a little bit challenging for the average consumer. Now , what we're seeing is that , you know , on top of the inflation rate , the reason for the inflation rate are multiple fold. The first and foremost is that since the pandemic started , when the pandemic started , you know , we lost 22 million jobs in a month and a half. And and so consumers really batten down the hatches in terms of spending. And as the federal government under two administrations provided financial relief to consumers , to businesses and to individuals , consumers through direct payments , child tax credits , consumers actually were able to save a fair amount of money because there was very little to spend on things that consumers are used to go to in 2020 and parts of 2021 concerts , sporting events , movies , theme parks , all of those were fundamentally shut down or very reduced based on different restrictions in different states. Right. So all of a sudden , kind of in late 2020 and into 2021 , consumers started spending as they were able to. Beyond their basic needs , beyond groceries. And so all of a sudden , we were hit during this time of this really strong increasing demand with the supply chain woes because of COVID around the world. You couple that with robust demand and you see shortages and an increase in the price in what consumers pay for goods. And then just in the first quarter alone , unfortunately , the war in Russia and Ukraine has really impacted both food and energy markets. And so that's really put added stress and pressure on the prices of certain foodstuffs. So what we're seeing is that consumers are paying a lot more across the board.
S3: People in San Diego told us inflation is affecting just about everything. Carolyn gave us a list. Gas , food , utilities , rent , haircut , bottled water , fast food , car repairs. And Kathy says in every single way imaginable from gas , food , housing , clothing , outings , you name it , I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford beef again.
S1: And Cindy says , gasoline , spring water , fresh produce , dairy products and coffee all cost more. My groceries , when I can find them , have increased a full third , if not twice as much as before. In recent weeks , my fixed income finances are dwindling at an alarming rate , and Robin told us I have always been extra careful on spending. I buy only what's needed and no extras. I do errands on one day each week and stay close to home.
S3: One business that's seen price. His rise consistently over the past months is the food industry. George Scenario The grocery manager at Jensen's Foods in Point Loma told us what that's been like.
S5: My job has been more difficult on ordering. It's been harder to bring in stuff for customers a lot. I've been having a lot of customers complaining on empty shelves due to product being out of stock at the warehouse or sometimes loads not coming in. Also , we have been noticing price changes going. I mean , pretty much from $0.50 to a dollar , $2 , $3. So it's kind of hard on people buying product nowadays just due to the price , our prices going up due to the vendors and then us bringing up the prices for the customers. So that's the harder part. But the hardest part is bringing in the product that customers are asking for. There's a couple of customers complaining on pricing and it's hard to say , I'm sorry , you know , I can't do nothing about it , but really we can't do nothing about it. It's hard because I mean , I'm a I'm a customer as well. So it's hard to reflect the pricing on what I get charged to reflect in it to a good price for a customer to buy a carton of eggs. Before COVID , you're looking at a large dozen white eggs for me. Know my price. I sell it to the customers at 19922. Now that doesn't have white eggs are 399 that I'm selling now. And organic eggs went from me selling them 399 to a price of 699 , almost 799 for a dozen. And then milk prices went from a gallon of 299 to almost I selling it at $5 a gallon. The main items are pretty much refrigerated meat products , frozen foods are going up. Also in the dairy , we've noticed milk cheeses are going up on the dry section. We've been noticing the bread going up. We've also been noticing canned foods. And our main problems that we are noticing is glass products. Anything that's in glass has been a big issue due to either shortage of glass jars or glass bottles. So that's what we've been noticing , that either the prices are going up or we're getting a big shortage on product.
S1: So is there any relief in sight ? Once again , here's SDSU business lecturer Miro Kopec.
S5: What we're seeing in this instance is that the cost of inputs to the two manufacturers , to the producer price index , this is materials that manufacturers buy was up 11.2%. So what we're going to likely see in the next 2 to 3 months is inflation still being pretty aggressive at that 8% or a little bit higher level before it peaks and kind of drops off.
S1: We'll continue to monitor the cost of inflation in San Diego and its impact on the community.
S3: A big thanks to our experts and the KPBS listeners who participated. This segment was produced by KPBS Midday Edition producer Emlen Mohadi.
S1: San Diego's Encanto neighborhood could soon host a new black culture and arts district. Thanks to the efforts of community organizers and legislators. The City Council's Economic Development Committee heard the proposal for the new district for the first time last week. If created , the new district would exist along several blocks of Imperial Avenue. San Diego Council President Pro Tem Monica Montgomery Stepp is among the proponents of a new arts district saying it would honor the hard work and contributions of black community members. And she joins us now. Welcome back to the program , Monica.
S2: Thank you so much for having me.
S1: So first , give us a little history of Encanto and why this particular area of San Diego is so rich with black culture and arts.
S2: Yes , well , I'm very excited to be working with community members to designate these eight blocks of imperial as the black arts and culture district. And what that also implies is that we will be honoring and uplifting the contributions of black people in San Diego. You know , historically , this effort started way back when with Councilmember George Stevens and then Councilmember Charles Lewis. And what they really envisioned was a sense of place for everyone that would specifically be geared to , you know , honoring black folks in San Diego. So it's been decades , but we're here. And even though , you know , there's been a lot of community advocacy around it , we're still sort of at the beginning of realizing what this really could be. So I'm very excited about it.
S2: You know , if you go back and look at some of our history of redlining , you will see that African-Americans were pushed over into the southeastern area of San Diego and now are even pushed out further east. So this also symbolically says that we do have a sense of place. We've contributed a lot to our communities. If you look down all the way down Imperial , for the past six decades , we have found that there have been a lot of black businesses even on the western side of Imperial. But we want to take this place that really needs a revitalization and also has a history of black businesses and designated as such.
S2: But I do see a place of gathering. You know , I see a place that has museums that we could go to to learn about those black contributions. I see a place that invites music and expression. So I am very excited about it. I know that so many people will be attracted to this space , but I want to continue to work with the community members that have come together and dedicated their time to gather and come up with ideas about how we will utilize that space so that it is inclusive.
S2: You know , so often we hear about Imperial Avenue and it's look the same way for many , many , many years. And so what this designation does is twofold. It does send that message to community members that there is a vision for the place and that we are working on making it what the community deserves for it to be. But also , from a policy perspective , it helps us to then provide design guidelines and send the message to investors , developers who want to come into this area that it is a designation and that what our plans to revitalize the area , we will have to work on those plans together and they will be under the umbrella of a black arts and culture district.
S2: It will mean there's a specific purpose around it. It will mean that we are honoring former council members and community members of what they always wanted to see and have on display for the rest of San Diego. Many of our members know about a lot of those historic contributions , but now we can showcase it for the city , for the region , for the state , for the nation. And that's a wonderful thing for the residents to know that we're pushing. We are working. We've had to do a lot of things with community members to ensure that we're all on the same page. But now the resolution is moving forward to full council. We have a lot of support for economic development and inter-government. In a race relations committee that not only just votes , but just really sound support from my colleagues. And I'm hopeful that it will be the same way when we go to full council for the residence. We are working hard to give our community what we deserve , and this is a part of that vision.
S2: Folks are very , very excited. I am so happy. It's not every day , especially during this time , that we get a lot of good news. But this has been overwhelmingly exciting for people who've been working on it for a very long time. Folks that are just now hearing about it , there's so much energy around it. And I'm hopeful about the future of the Black Arts and Culture District in District four.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Council President Pro Tem Monica montgomery Stepp. Thank you so much for joining us today.
S2: Thank you so much for having me. And highlighting the Black Arts and Culture District.
S3: If you're in the market for a new electric vehicle in California right now , you're definitely not alone. With gas prices soaring to record levels. Many prospective car buyers say an EV is the way to go. But are there anywhere near enough electric vehicles at California car dealerships for the California report ? Casey ? RW Robin ESTRIN has more.
S4: Lisa McCree decided she was ready to trade in her fuel burning car for an electric one when she saw gas was selling for 659 a gallon.
S2: I became , like , obsessed with trying to find one. Well , of course , I became obsessed just as Ukraine happened. And everybody else was assessed , too.
S4: Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent gas prices soaring and pushed tentative buyers closer to sealing the deal. But the EV market was already hot , especially here in California , where we're planning to phase out the sale of gas powered cars completely by 2035. Meanwhile , on the supply side , manufacturers are still suffering pandemic induced port clogs and shortages of key components like microchips. High gas prices are only heating the market. Just ask Doug Ero , who manages Toyota Longo in El Monte.
S5: And last week was the highest amount of phone calls and the highest number of inquiries to our website in the past two years.
S4: By far notice he's talking about inquiries in their electric offerings and not about sales. That's because you can't sell cars you don't have ERO. And every other EV dealer I spoke to for this story told me inventory is low. So low , in fact , that at the Nissan dealership over in Downey , owner Tim Hutchison had to come up with an unusual way to hide his inventory problem. He typically asks employees to park their cars in a lot across the street. Now he's asking them to park right in front of the office.
S5: These are all employee cars.
S2: To keep the lot.
S5: Trying to keep the lot full. So you got to be creative.
S4: Eero at Toyota says he usually has up to 2000 cars on the lot. Now , on a typical day , he has 30 , maybe 40. About half of them are electric. And of the cars he can get. Most arrive already sold.
S5: So we really have no vehicles on the lot when it comes to electrified because they're actually buying them before they even get here. So it's a pretty remarkable time.
S4: It's a mean market for consumers like Lisa McCree. She spent hours on a recent weekend calling Volkswagen dealers from L.A. South Bay all the way to Bakersfield. Not one had a car to sell. But then on a recent morning , about 10:15 a.m. McCree got a text. It was Johnny from Volkswagen South Coast saying.
S2: Good morning , Lisa. I have an ID pro for sale , no markup. Let me know if you want to get it. Won't last a day. And he said , I've seen pictures. I didn't get it until 1136. Is it fantastic ? No mileage. Sorry. Sold new car. Sorry , sold.
S4: The price at the pump is painful , but so is a fruitless search for a car that doesn't exist. That's why McCrory's decided to call off her search for now.
S2: It is going to settle down. I can suffer through it , you know , suffer through the gas price and the guilt. For a few more months , I'll get an EV. When things aren't insane.
S4: It's unclear just when things might settle down , but it's likely to be a while. So says Joseph McCabe , a market analyst and CEO of Auto Forecast Solutions.
S5: My general advice is if you don't have to buy a vehicle now , don't buy a vehicle now. You're not going to get a deal. Let's put it that way.
S4: And here's more bad news. Most people need to take out a loan to buy a car , and borrowing money is about to get more expensive. The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates a quarter percent and is expected to raise rates again up to seven more times this year. That means by the time supply chains ease up and more cars hit the market , a car loan is likely to cost you hundreds of dollars more per year. I'm Robin ESTRIN in Los Angeles.
S1: Homes with eco friendly features are selling faster and for more money than the average home , according to new data released by Zillow. Solar panels , electric vehicle chargers and drought resistant landscaping are among the improvements that are motivating shoppers. Amanda Pendleton is a home trends expert for Zillow. She spoke with KAP Radio's Randall White about the latest numbers.
S5: People seem to be concerned about energy bills.
S3: You know , our consumer housing trends report from last year found that more recent buyers are more likely to say an energy efficient home is very or extremely important. About 67% of them said it was very important to them. So , yes , I think energy costs and energy savings are top of mind for today's buyers.
S5: I see that solar panels help boost the selling price and shrink the number of days the home is on the market. What about battery walls ? I didn't see that on the list.
S3: A battery was was not something that we took a look at in this particular analysis. And I think right now it's still a feature that's pretty neat. But I think as people start thinking about their homes and about how they can save money on energy , we're going to start seeing more of that in homes.
S5: And apparently , people are getting serious about driving EVs and charging them at home. Absolutely.
S3: Absolutely. Electric vehicle chargers can help sell a home as much as ten days faster than similar homes. EV Chargers were one of the top features in terms of days on market speed.
S5: And Amanda , solar and chargers are not cheap.
S3: You know , the best way to take a look at these features is that they really signal something about a home. So if you have an EV charger , chances are your home is a little bit more modern. It's been updated. It's got a lot of other great amenities that buyers are looking for.
S5: And along those lines , smart home features seem to be attractive to shoppers.
S3: Yeah , absolutely. We saw that. Homes that have programmable thermostats or smart sprinkler systems and smart lights can sell up to six days faster than expected. So tech heavy homes are certainly desirable for today's buyers , too.
S5: And it's not just the high tech , large scale gadgets that are helping to move these homes. It can be something as simple as double pane windows.
S3: Double pane windows were surprisingly , really desirable by today's buyers. You know , we found that homes with listing descriptions that mentioned double pane windows can sell a week faster than similar homes and for 1% more than expected.
S5: And I have to ask you this. Being in water thirsty California , drought resistant landscaping is a big selling point.
S3: Yet drought resistant landscaping can help a home sell as much as ten days faster than similar homes. So people are becoming increasingly conscious of their ecological footprint and they want landscaping. That's not going to cost an arm and a leg. That's sustainable to.
S5: Finally , Amanda , there is concern about climate change and how that can affect the size and scope of natural disasters. So people want homes that can withstand all of this.
S3: They do. We found that homes that mention hurricane or storm shutters can sell for 1.4%. More than similar homes. Homes that are on stilts or piers that are built to defend against flooding can sell for 1.1% more and relevant to the West Coast. Homes that have undergone seismic retrofitting to make them more resistant to earthquakes can sell 19 days faster than similar homes. So yeah , I think climate change is absolutely impacting what buyers are looking for in a home and how they want to live.
S1: Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton speaking with KAP Radio's Randall White.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. The 11th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase kicks off tomorrow. It serves up eight days of what it calls fresh Asian cinema. From then and now , there will be more than two dozen films from around the globe , from animation to documentary science fiction to lush melodrama. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO gets a preview of the festival from artistic director Brian Hu.
S2: Brian , you are about to launch an in-person spring showcase this week , and your opening night film is an interesting one called Anita. It's a biopic of singer and Hong Kong superstar Anita Moye , something that no one to listen to.
S6: I mean , I must think about this now because this idea of Hong Kong cinema , the golden age of Hong Kong , it feels like it's gone right. Like Hong Kong cinema isn't what it used to be , especially now that it's been so integrated with mainland China. And so this idea of a star that's so quintessentially Hong Kong who sings in Cantonese and yet is still popular everywhere , is kind of a it's something that you could see , you could understand why people are nostalgic for a figure like her. And so a film like this came out and it was a it was kind of a big deal in Hong Kong , up nominated for all of the awards. I love this movie because this allows me to relive certain moments of that time. And with Anita Moy as a figure who kind of is not really a spoiler , but she passes away at the end of the film and we can say goodbye not just to Anita , but to a certain version of Hong Kong.
S2: One of the things I really love about this spring showcase are the older titles. There's a quartet of films directed by an actress. And I only got to see two of them. Love , letter and love under a crucifix.
S6: We dedicate an entire day to a topic from the past. And I think partly it's because I'm a film scholar historian , and this is why I love going to film festivals. I don't just want to watch the newest , but I want to see I want to rediscover classics , especially ones that we didn't know about or that were not available. So that's that's the case with this year's series. And Kenneth Tanaka Tanaka is most famous for being an actress of films by like Kenji Mizoguchi , as she was in like 250 films. She's on the biggest actresses in Japan from the silent period , all the way to like the 1970s. Like a little blip in between in her career in the fifties and sixties. She said , Look , I want to direct. And everyone looked around and said , Wait , really ? What is that ? What does that mean for a woman to direct in a place like Japan ? I mean , not just in places like Japan , like in the fifties and sixties , there were few women directing anywhere in the world , especially in the mainstream cinema. And so here in Japan , you have major studios backing a female filmmaker. And there was a lot of resistance , but she pulled off six feature films. We're going to be showing four of them. At least one of them is a is a stone cold masterpiece. And when I watch it , I think I thought , how do we ever think about 1950s Japanese cinema without a film like Forever A Woman , which is not just the high , high level of of cinematic craft , but also like one of the few films I've ever seen from this era about breast cancer and not from a , from a perspective of victimhood , but of like , if I get breast cancer , how does that affect my family ? How does that affect my sexual desires ? How how do I reinvent myself in a scenario like this ? And it's still very powerful to watch.
S2: And for your closing night , you are bringing back a very powerful documentary that is both contemporary in terms of when it was made , but looking back to.
S3: A case that was very.
S2: Important for Korean-Americans.
S6: Yeah , the film is called Free Trial. Sue Lee and Jocelyn was a Korean-American living in Chinatown in the 1970s. San Francisco Chinatown , kind of ordinary guy. He was really you got mixed up with , you know , some gangs and everything. But regardless of what his background was , he was wrongly accused of murder and then wrongly convicted of murder. Oh , I was not an angel. And I say.
S5: At same time , I was not the devil.
S6: But whatever I was and also does not just for to frame a person to put him in prison for murder he did not commit. That is no excuse. So his case can happen around the same time that in the Bay Area , you have a lot of young people who are starting to see themselves as Asian-American activists. And so he became a symbol for the possibility of Asian-Americans. Regardless of your background , you could be Japanese-American , you be Chinese-American , you could be Korean-American , Filipino , American. They realized that's actually the kinds of prejudices within the legal system , within the criminal justice system that led him to being wrongfully convicted could happen to any of us. And so his case started this national movement for thinking about what does it mean to get Asian-American justice. So the film follows his case , but also his his life. And as it turns out , his life is way more interesting. Or is is this a way more to his life than just this case and just the movement it inspired ? But just that , you know , like people are complicated.
S6: So there's a book that came out earlier this year called Rise A Pop History of Asian America. From the nineties to now , it's assembled by three of the major figures of Asian-American journalism. That's Jeff Yang , Phil Yu and Philip Wang. And they got sort of a who's who's list of commentators , artists , entertainers to write little essays in this book. And their project is We know about Asian America as a kind of political thing or like an activist category. But what happens is we think about it as a pop culture category. Who are the pop stars that make up Asian America ? Who are the notorious figures like who would be the Asian-American Kardashian or something , but also like the TV stars , the movie stars , the YouTube stars , the novelists , the graphic artists. If we bring them all together , it's kind of like it's a much more accessible , kind of fun heartthrob approach to thinking about community. And so I wanted to invite some of the authors to town to talk about their book. So in some ways this is like , you know , a typical book talk for us. It's another way of thinking about we're not here just to celebrate Asian-American filmmakers , but. All Asian-American storytellers. And you know that that seems to be so.
S6: Yeah. So right now on the Criterion Channel is a program called Asian-American Filmmaking 2000 to 2009. And really , these are the films that I watched at places like the San Diego Asian Film Festival during that decade. I don't know if these films are hard to find out there. They're less than , but like 15 years old. And yet they're as difficult to find as like a silent movie. Maybe they came out on DVD. Maybe they didn't. And even if they came out on DVD , there are probably two small little distributors that don't exist anymore. You know , part of the same impetus that makes me want to show you Tanaka films that we don't know about is the same one that I want to bring to Asian-American cinema that is not even that old yet. And so , yeah , these films , we have 20 films , the combination of feature films , short films on The Criterion Channel , and it's going to run for a few more months.
S2: All right. Well , thank you very much for talking about this year's spring showcase and your little curated collection of Criterion Films.
S6: Thank you , as always.
S3: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Bryan , who the 11th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival's Spring Showcase runs April 21st through the 28th at the Ultra Star Cinema's Mission Valley.