Moose Jaw's Chow family is being featured in a 16-minute documentary by longtime Regina (now Toronto-based) filmmaker Weiye Su, that will be featured on the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) website starting on May 22, 2023.
The NFB website describes A Passage Beyond Fortune as an "homage to the culturally significant but buried history of Chinese-Canadian communities in Moose Jaw". The film is available in English and Cantonese.
"The stories really follow the Chow family before they move away to really discover their family history and their connections with the community," explained Su.
Moose Jaw was once a central point in Chinese immigration to Canada and boasted one of the largest Chinese communities on the Prairies.
The documentary focuses on Gale and Myrna Chow, who immigrated to Canada in the 1950's, as they prepare to move to Regina to live with their son, Kyle. Su also shares his own experiences of immigrating to Canada.
He revealed why the Chow family was chosen for the film.
"They certainly have a lot of stories to tell. They have been living in Moose Jaw for a very long time and Chow is also the leader of the community for a long time too. They are pretty well known to the community and a really good representative and they really know about its history."
Su said A Passage Beyond Fortune took about five years to complete, largely due to the delay caused by the pandemic.
"We really wanted to be sure about the stories that we are telling, so we did a lot of research and really studied the history and had communication with the Moose Jaw Chinese Community Network," he explained. "We worked with them to learn about the stories and really try to represent the community in the most authentic way."
A Passage Beyond Fortune will be making its in-person premiere at a free community screening in Moose Jaw on May 24 at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre.
The screening will feature a Q&A with the Chow family and director, Weiye Su.
Previews of the documentary can be viewed below: