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Kung Flu: Yellow Peril Pushes Back

An anti-Asian hate crime and elder abuse short film made by and for Asian San Francisco natives in the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia, our film features seven strong, Asian female characters, and an all-Asian lead cast.

Christina Capule is a Filipina Covid nurse and single mother. 33% of nurses who have died of Covid in the USA are Filipin@, even though only 4% of our nurses are. Like many working women, she is also juggling raising her homeschooled daughter under lockdown.

Angelica Capule is a 17 year-old School of the Arts high school student. When tragedy strikes one of her classmate's families, the girls take the lead and so does real life US Army medic veteran, Leanna Louie, who founded the United Peace Collaborative (UPC), an all-volunteer group who have been patrolling and keeping Chinatown safe seven days a week since March 2020.

  • Ximena Zhao
  • Ximena Zhao
  • Ximena Zhao
  • Marissa L. Ampon
    Key Cast
    "Christina Capule"
  • Jade Cenina
    Key Cast
    "Angelica Capule"
  • Amy Bui
    Key Cast
    "Iris Chan"
  • Patrick Fong
    Key Cast
    "Kevin Chan"
  • Ximena Zhao
    Key Cast
    "Dolores Chao"
  • Leanna Louie
    Key Cast
    "United Peace Collaborative (UPC) Founder"
  • Zolboo Namkhaidorj
    Key Cast
    "Oyuunchimeg Batbayar"
  • Vanessa Fitzpatrick
    Key Cast
    "Malaya Murphy"
  • Michael J. Gwynn
    Key Cast
    "Danny Ryan"
  • Brody Rogers
    Key Cast
    "Cody Harrison"
  • Travis Clark
    Key Cast
    "Garry White & Creepy Stalker"
  • Logan Schluntz
    Key Cast
    "Male Trumper"
  • Robert Louie
    Key Cast
    "UPC Member"
  • Ebert Kan
    Key Cast
    "UPC Member"
  • Merwin Lai
    Key Cast
    "UPC Member"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Asian, Female, Women, AsianAmerican, SanFrancisco, Chinatown, StopAsianHate, Feminism, TeenageGirls, AsianWomen, ArtStudents, ComingofAge, Activism, Anti-Racism, CivilRights, ElderAbuse, HateCrimes, ViolenceAgainstWomen, Empowerment, CommunityOrganizing, DavidandGoliath, Underdog, Underrepresented, Marginalized, Diversity, Pan-Asian, Chinese-American, Filipina, Filipino, Filipinx, Filipin@, Mongolian, Mongolian-American
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    95 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Tagalog
  • Shooting Format:
    Video, mixed sources.
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ximena Zhao

"she-MEN-ah jow"
Ximena is a force of nature,
an aberration of physics,
an ecosystem of genetic mutations,
a speck of carbon-based stardust,
or a transnational migrant,
disguised in the body of a woman,
depending on whom you ask.

Xi is a Chinese, Hispanic, African, Native Amerikkkan, and Sephardic Jewess artist and activist from Yelamu (native Ohlone name; aka “San Francisco” in colonizer Spanish & English), California, Northern Abya Yala (USA).

Her unique cultural, educational, and experiential background informs her perspective as an author and actress and is an integral part of all of her creative work.

Currently, she is prioritizing narrative film work.
She’d like to tell you a story or make you feel something.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

We made this film in late February - March of 2021 in San Francisco Chinatown. It really is a collaborative effort when you watch it and see how many people (cultures and languages) came together to be able to make this happen and get this Asian-empowerment story brought to life.

I first heard about the HBO Asian Pacific American (APA) Visionaries contest five weeks before the deadline. I gave myself two weeks for pre-production, one week for production, and two weeks for post. If you have ever made a movie, you know that that is an insane schedule and goal, even if it was just myself. But then I had to add urban drone footage, original music, a cast of 15 (some with specific ethnicities and bilingual requirements), and many locations, during a global pandemic lockdown, staying Covid-compliant, but with no budget, in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

I can’t believe we made it, but this was an important message to share and I am so proud of us.

Most of all, I want to thank my wonderful crew of actors, who were all volunteers. Especially Marissa L. Ampon, Pat Fong, Amy Bui, Jade Cenina, and Travis Clark, who went above and beyond their acting work to also volunteer and donate in other ways to help make this film possible. All of the actors also allowed us to use their homes as sets, filmed self-taped scenes, provided translation services, drove us around in between sets, provided their own costumes and props, did their own hair and makeup, donated music licenses, put up with street harassment from well-intentioned anti-racist hippies, took part in webcam improv scenes, or otherwise went above and beyond the normal duties of an actor.

We somehow managed to make a cohesive short film on a production budget of $75.00, with a crew of 2 people (myself and our amazing Production Assistant, Natalie Woods), and virtually no time at all, during a global pandemic, in one of the most-expensive cities in the world.

Last but not least, this movie would not be what it is without the help and participation of our real life, everyday heroes, the United Peace Collaborative (UPC) who have been patrolling Chinatown as volunteers for over a year, since March 2020. They deserve all of the recognition, appreciation, and support that we can give them for improving and ensuring the safety and quality-of-life of our elders, families, businesses, and community in the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia.

You can donate to the UPC or learn more about them on their website: https://unitedpeacecollaborative.org/

This movie is dedicated to the 32% of nurses in the USA who have died of Covid who were Filipin@, despite the fact that only 4% of USA nurses are Filipin@. This sad statistic is proof of injustice in our medical system that is sending Asian nurses into the riskiest care jobs without adequate PPE.

We also dedicate this movie to all the single, working moms who are homeschooling their kids and to all our young Asian students doing their best to continue their educations while doing their schooling from home while battling anti-Asian sentiments in the media and anti-Asian violence and hate crimes in our communities. We are proud to see them joining together to protect our elders.

The best part about this short film is that it is a prequel and part of the "SF Invictus" cinematic universe. I am inspired by these characters and eager to continue telling more of their stories in our sci-fi, martial arts, dystopian social commentary series.