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On Wednesday evening, Jeremy Lin, the basketball star whose 2012 run of greatness with the New York Knicks sparked a period of “Linsanity,” came to LA’s Museum in Tolerance for a screening of the Oscar-shortlisted HBO documentary short 38 at the Garden — a film that contrasts the pride that the Linsanity era brought Asian-Americans with the recent rise of hate directed at them — wearing brand new clothes and shoes. That was because, he revealed, he hadn’t planned to be there, but when he decided days earlier to leave the league in China in which he had been playing, he felt it was important to show his support for a film that, in his view, is less about him than a crisis that he wants to help shine a light on.
Introduced by executive producer Lisa Ling and fielding questions from yours truly alongside the short’s director Frank Chi and producers Travon Free and Samir Hernandez, Lin revealed that he had long had complicated feelings about the Linsanity era, which had made him an overnight celebrity and provoked disturbing behavior towards him from family, friends and strangers alike. But, he said in front of a large crowd that included producer Lawrence Bender, actor-comedian Ronny Chieng (who appears in the film) and animator Floyd Norman, the film had made him look back at that time differently, helping him to better appreciate the pride and hope that he brought to fellow Asian-Americans, especially young people.
You can watch the entire conversation at the top of this post.
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival