A MAST nod to Micro-docs 2019 finalist To Be Assimilated Or Not, a film by Jina Shih.
While pursuing my master’s degree in Mass Communications at Brigham Young University, I learned how to apply communications theory to our lives. I was interested in investigating the pattern of Chinese sojourners’ acculturation process in the United States. I desired to know how international students, like me, make that transition from the homeland to another country, and how they view their cultural identity during that journey.
In the summer of 2017, the main character of this documentary, Frederick Shih, started his freshman year at Brigham Young University. This is Frederick’s first time living in a foreign country. He had started to immerse himself with American culture by watching Hollywood movies in middle school. Following Frederick’s daily life and hearing his story, we see how his use of media affects his time in the United States.
Under the influence of media, the United States becomes a place for people to seek their dreams. However, with living in a different culture comes fear and frustration. Through this micro-doc, I hope more people can be aware of the challenges which international students and immigrants are facing. By understanding the situation, we can better support foreigners and help them know that they are not alone.