The Motel marks the directorial debut of Michael Kang and earned him the 2003 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. The film also received the Humanitas Prize and Best Narrative Feature award from the San Francisco International Asian- American Film Festival.
The Motel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Ernest Chin, who lives and works at a sleazy hourly-rate motel on a strip of desolate suburban bi-way. Misunderstood by his family and blindly careening into puberty, Ernest befriends Sam Kim, a self-destructive yet charismatic Korean American man who has checked in. Sam teaches the fatherless boy all the rites of manhood.
“Michael Kang’s small, perfectly observed portrait of Ernest Chin (Jeffrey Chyau), a Chinese-American boy who lives and works in a dingy downscale motel operated by his mother, captures the glum desperation of inhabiting the biological limbo of early adolescence.”
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Directed by Michael Kang. 2005, USA • 75 min. • 35mm
This Program Co-Sponsored by the
Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles