A young American girl experiences her first day of school.
Runtime:4 minutes 30 seconds
Production Budget:0 USD
Country of Origin:United States
Hailing from the island of Saipan, Jayce is an aspiring filmmaker. Her mission is to create space for Asian, Pacific Islander, first-generation-Americans and Filipino identity in America with the hopes of a consequentially global impact for BIPOC, immigrants, their children and all the "in-betweeners" through entertainment. from idea to screen, "bind" is her post-grad one-woman production debut.
I was born and raised a Filipino-American and Pacific Islander in Saipan. Those two terms meant complete opposites in a place that did not accept the former, which I especially felt growing up. Despite the injustices that drove my family's story, and us, out of the islands, I have finally come to understand the dichotomy I call home. My home, the place that glorifies and denies me in the same breath. My home, the place that built and broke me. My home, a phrase I earned and will never speak lightly.
As I write this, I realize that for the nth time in my life, I have nothing and nowhere to go. But as I view myself from my perspective just 10 years ago, I realize I am still very much in a place I’d only ever read about and dreamt of, never within arms' reach. As daughter to peasant farmer lineage on both sides, shunned in the only "home" I've ever known, I’ve often felt imposterous having touched the hallowed “mainland,” looking back at what I’d left behind. Wondering why I, not another, was allowed to be here. In wanting the best for my people, so intent on giving back, I pushed myself to the point my heart literally had to be stopped. (Yes, literally in the correct grammatical sense.) Miraculously, I survived.
That recovery process brought me on one of the most unexpected journeys back to my roots, some experiences for the first time in my life. In those humbling moments, I came to realize the most important lesson of all: I was more than enough. As the saying goes,
“We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.”
As we all know and live each day, we are in the throes of finding our place across the diaspora. This film holds just a little more space for us all. A simple love letter to Asian Pacific Islanders and FilAm kids like myself, it is also for any once-child that has ever had to make insurmountable sacrifice towards a better future - and thus, for those who have ever struggled to feel they belong.
I chose the title “bind” to represent the bittersweet merging of our fractured, branching identities; the rice glue that holds us all together; the strong ties of earned friendships and the sticky troubles we face along this beautiful journey.
May you find lightness through the knowledge of the gravity of your own being.