“There comes a time when a sound recordist switches from producing new work to preserving what’s already been recorded and documented. I’ve spent the last 30 years of my career going from one project to another — moving from radio to theatre to writing — and always turning to the next big thing without much reflection on my career path. That’s the life of an independent artist and freelance writer. Now, however, I’m focusing my creativity on going through my archive and revisiting what I’ve already done.
The recent shift to my past work prompted me to enlist the help of Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website. The project? Turning my 25-year-old radio documentary, Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song, into a 30-minute film. Mei Mei tells the story of my mom’s hard life in Taiwan during World War II and how it affected our relationship and led to many cultural differences. The purpose of the crowdfunding effort was to preserve the Mei Mei radio piece by transforming it to another medium. Not only would turning it into a film save the original audio documentary, but hopefully it would help introduce it to a new generation” – Dmae Roberts for the Asian Reporter…..(read full article here)
Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song is a cross-cultural tale of a mother and daughter separated by language and culture, yet bound together for life.
In 1989, producer Dmae Roberts won a Peabody-award for her radio documentary, “Mei Mei, A Daughter’s Song”. It was the first Taiwanese-American radio documentary on public radio. 25 years later, she has created a half-hour film using the audio documentary “Mei Mei” as the soundtrack.
Mixing live action, animated effects and archival footage, “Mei Mei” tells the story of Dmae and her mother as they travel to Taiwan together after a long absence.
As Chu-Yin Roberts’ story unfolds she reveals the abuse she experienced when she was sold into servitude at the age of two and her hardship growing up during World War Two. She talks about the female Buddha who saved her life. It soon becomes clear the tensions they experienced with each other had to do not only with the always-complicated mother/daughter relationship, but also the fact they were of different cultures yet intrinsically tied together because they were family.
This multimedia film is the 25th anniversary of the radio documentary that originally aired on NPR, BBC, CBC and ABC.