Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Watch Who Killed Vincent Chin?

  • 1987
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 7.5  (283)

Who Killed Vincent Chin? is a documentary film produced in 1987, directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña. It explores the infamous murder case of Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese American, and the racial tensions and injustice that surrounded the case. Vincent Chin was enjoying his bachelor's party at a Detroit bar in 1982 when he got into a verbal altercation with two unemployed autoworkers, Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz. The men were angry at the growing Japanese car market and falsely assumed that Chin was Japanese. The argument escalated, and Chin and his friends decided to leave the bar. Outside the bar, Ebens and Nitz caught up with Chin and brutally beat him with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma. Four days later, Chin died from his injuries.

Ebens and Nitz were initially charged with murder, but a plea deal reduced their charges to manslaughter. They were given three years probation, fined $3,000, and served no jail time. The lenient sentencing sparked outrage among the Asian American community and sparked a nationwide civil rights movement.

The film interviews Vincent Chin's family and friends, including his mother, Lily Chin, who was devastated by the loss of her son and outraged at the injustice of the trial. The filmmakers also interview Ebens, Nitz, and their lawyers, who defend their actions and deny any racial motivations.

The documentary also puts Chin's case in a broader context of the rise of Japanese cars in the 1980s, which led to economic anxiety and backlash against Asian Americans in the auto industry. The documentary explores the racism, xenophobia, and violence that Asian Americans faced as a result.

The film's powerful interviews, archival footage, and expert commentary provide a powerful portrayal of the systemic racism and injustice that Vincent Chin faced, and the legacy of his case in the fight for civil rights. The documentary is a potent reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial justice and the importance of speaking out against hatred and discrimination.

In conclusion, Who Killed Vincent Chin? is an impactful documentary that sheds light on the tragic murder case of Vincent Chin and the systemic racism and injustice that surrounded it. The film provides powerful commentary on the larger issues of economic anxiety and backlash against Asian Americans in the auto industry, and the ongoing struggle for civil rights. Overall, the documentary is a must-watch for anyone interested in the history of racism in America and the fight for justice.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (283)
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