Edmonton filmmaker travelling to China for new documentary
Edmonton filmmaker Kenda Gee will head to China next week for work on a documentary about the Chinese immigrant experience, in which he uses his own local family as a means to tell the tale.
Production on Lost Years has been underway in Edmonton this month and will soon shift to China, when Gee and co-producer Tom Radford travel to Gee’s familial village with Gee’s father, who will turn 78 the day they arrive.
Gee, who grew up in Edmonton and continues to use the city as his home base, says he was reluctant at first to focus on his family’s experience in the film. His great-grandfather came to Canada a century ago, in 1910.
“I was very averse to using the story because there are so many stories in the community that should be told,” Gee said. “But Tom (Radford) was very insistent … My condition was that I said ‘as long as whoever’s watching the documentary, especially Chinese Canadians, can see the same story through the eyes of the storyteller.’ So it’s not so much my family’s story, but that they can identify, ‘this has happened to us as well,’ ” he says.