First Generation is a short film from directors Jeannie Nguyen and Andrew Yuyi Truong that showcases the Asian-American coming-of-age experience. Set in the 1990s, the film follows protagonist My-Linh, a young, misled Vietnamese-American girl who must decide how she will fit into the two worlds that she inhabits. With the absence of her overworked mom, she must rely on the guidance of her friends and the media to understand where she belongs.
Initially sparked by the concept of showcasing Asian-American female style during the 1990s, the film was shot over the course of two long days in May of 2017. Jeannie tells Neocha, “We’re from the Bay Area, and we’re not too sure if the style spanned across the States, but it was unique and a somewhat rebellious way of presenting oneself – heavy set make-up, extra-wide baggy pants juxtaposed with tiny tank tops, hair done in half cornrows, and embellished with glittery butterfly clips. Looking back at it now, it’s interesting to us to see how this minority group rocked such a bold style. So after, we figured that we wanted to create a film during this time period and tackle issues of beauty and fitting in.”
这在 2017 年 5 月拍摄了长达两天的短片，最初的灵感是想展现 20 世纪 90 年代美国亚裔女性的风格。Jeannie 告诉 Neocha：“我们来自美国湾区，所以也不太确定当时的服装风格是不是在美国各地都流行，那是一种独特又有点叛逆的个性风格：浓艳的妆容，大号宽松的裤子搭配紧身的小背心，半侧头发扎着地垄沟辫（cornrow，非洲辫的一种），再别上闪亮的蝴蝶发夹。现在回想起来，一个少数团体会有这样大胆的风格，挺让人意外的，也挺有意思的。所以，之后我们就决定以这段时期为背景拍一部电影，探讨当时的审美风格和社会融入的问题。”
One of the primary themes of the film is the impact of mainstream media on identity, self-image, and perceptions of beauty. Jeannie shares, “As with many young minority females, when I was younger, I never truly understood how I fit in with society. With the media being a huge subconscious influence, I felt less of a woman when I saw blue-eyed, blonde models who were in every beauty commercial and graced the cover of every beauty magazine and. I was brainwashed by the media and started to resent my Asian descent. When we were represented in the media, we’re known as submissive and nerdy. Luckily, my mom canceled cable so I stopped watching television beginning my high school year, and I truly believe that helped me realize that the majority of things we’re exposed to is nonsense. With that idea in mind, we wanted to create a film that young Asian-Americans can relate to – a movie that can help them see through the bullshit.”