Bad Axe is a small town in Michigan. It is home to the Siev family. Father Chun is a refugee from Khmer Rouge Cambodia. Chun escaped with his mother and six children to Thailand and then moved to the United States. His father “disappeared” in Cambodia. Chun was tortured and beaten witnessing executions and atrocities.
In the shadow of “Donut King” Ted Ngoy the Siev family opened a donut shop in Bad Axe later opening a family restaurant “Rachels”. With great sacrifices and hard work they managed to run a successful establishment. Rachel is Chun’s wife and is of Mexican American descent.
By March 2020 COVID slammed Michigan with in restaurant dining prohibited and take out permitted. The Siev family faced racist slurs no doubt buoyed by the Dangerous Man rebranding COVID as Kung Flu and the China Virus. Rachels was struggling to stay afloat. Chun admits he was more fearful of COVID than the Killing Fields of Cambodia. What he endured appears to have given him a survivalist mentality and some post traumatic stress disorder he suffers from daily. Then George Floyd being murdered and civil unrest spreading throughout United States makes life a bit more complicated.
Matters come to a head in the Siev family when several of the children and their partners join a BLM march in Bad Axe. Armed paramilitary members menacingly watch the march unmolested by the local police. Chun supports the young folks participating in the BLM march but states that the family has struggled so fiercely in America often being silent on social issues for fear of retaliation. One can see this type of reasoning in the 1987 documentary “Who Killed Vincent Chin” with that murder by baseball bat committed in Detroit Michigan. Local supporters of the Dangerous Man harass the Siev family in confrontations in their restaurant and by harassing calls and tailing their young daughter in pick up trucks adorned with Trump and Confederate flags. In fact one white supremacist is arrested in Bad Axe for terrorizing a family.
The Siev family anxiously and with great trepidation watches Biden defeat Trump in the United States presidential election and there is relief in the air.
An interesting view of right-wing hatred in the United States and the resilience of those facing it. And I think we know who loves whipping it up even in post insurrectionist America.
There will be a theatre and on demand release on November 18th. The documentary has won over 15 awards to date including winner of the Audience Award and Special Jury Mention at SXSW. A David Siev film.
The trailer for this 2022 American film can be seen here https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/z834d0q9dw5ntm05inqzo/h?dl=0&preview=BADAXE_Trlr_Family_v6Rev_Texted+URL_H264.mov&rlkey=9vboyfrz9xrwd87iovaq14sn3