17 Mar, 2016

Attending the premiere of ‘Breathin’: the Eddy Zheng Story’ at CAAMFest 2016 on the evening of March 11th was truly inspirational and moving. Eddy Zheng, the subject of the documentary film by director Ben Wang and producer Christine Kwon, is about the unfair justice system and how Zheng, who was incarcerated at the young age of 16, was sentenced to life in prison as an adult for the crime of kidnapping and robbery. Wang takes us behind the scenes and into the jail that Zheng endured for 21 years. Using effective storytelling and interviews with family and friends of Zheng, as well as footage of his highly publicized work with the Asian American community—nonviolently fighting for civil rights and mentoring troubled youth—Wang is able to humanize the subject of his film. The audience sees Zheng for the positive person he has grown to be and as someone who understands the ramifications of the crime he committed at a younger age. Further, the viewer comes to understand the suffering that all convicted criminals and prisoners face. Wang highlights Zheng’s transformation from troubled youth to  deeply caring, intelligent and determined individual who fights, not only for himself, but also the community that continually embraces him.

Released from prison, Zheng explains: “My story is not just about me. It is about the narratives of many “Others” that do not have a voice to articulate the detrimental impact of the migration to the school-to prison-and-deportation pipeline.”

Eddy Zheng, who following his release from jail was threatened with deportation for his criminal record, was recently pardoned by Governor Brown.

‘Breathin’: the Eddy Zheng Story’ has two more screenings at New Parkway Theater on March 19, 2016:  12:30 pm and 8:10pm.

See our exclusive photos from the world premiere of the film:
[Photos: © Cindy Maram/Dig In Magazine]

Movie Credits:

Director/Producer: Ben Wang
Producer: Christine Kwon
Executive Producer: Deann Borshay Liem
Cinematographer: R.J. Lozada
Editor: Ken Schneider
Editorial Consultant: Tina Nguyen
Composer: Scott “Chops” Jung

About the author

Cindy Maram

Cindy Maram is Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Dig In Magazine. She is an accredited film journalist for Cannes Film Festival in the South of France, Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and CAAMFest, as well as fashion & style photographer/blogger for London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, professional sports photographer/writer and art critic. She is a writer, vlogger & social media community manager possessing a B.A from UC Davis and a M.A. in Mass Communications + Popular Culture Studies emphasis in Film/Marketing/Writing from Cal State Fullerton.

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