Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with These Must-Stream Movies





May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. One of the best ways to honor this rich heritage is by exploring the powerful stories told through film. Here are five impactful movies available to stream that highlight the AAPI experience.

Crazy Rich Asians

“Crazy Rich Asians” follows Rachel Chu, a New York University professor, who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young for his best friend’s wedding. Unbeknownst to Rachel, Nick comes from an extremely wealthy family, and she finds herself thrust into a world of opulence and tradition. As she navigates the complexities of high society and familial expectations, Rachel must confront her own insecurities and assert her place in Nick’s life.

This beloved film made waves as the first major Hollywood film with a majority Asian cast in 25 years. Directed by Jon M. Chu, it broke box office records and was praised for its representation and cultural authenticity. The film sparked important conversations about Asian identity and visibility in Hollywood. It was celebrated for its vibrant portrayal of Singaporean culture, fashion, and cuisine, earning critical acclaim and numerous awards.

Stream on MAX

The Joy Luck Club

Based on Amy Tan’s best-selling novel, “The Joy Luck Club” tells the story of four Chinese-American women and their immigrant mothers. Through a series of interconnected vignettes, the film explores the generational and cultural conflicts between the mothers and daughters as they reconcile their identities and relationships. The narrative spans decades, offering deep insights into their struggles, sacrifices, and hopes.

“The Joy Luck Club” was groundbreaking when it was released in 1993, providing a rare glimpse into the Asian American experience. Directed by Wayne Wang, the film was lauded for its emotional depth and authentic storytelling. It received numerous accolades and remains a poignant exploration of family, identity, and the immigrant experience. The film’s success helped pave the way for greater Asian representation in Hollywood.

Stream The Joy Luck Club on Peacock | Stream The Joy Luck Club on Paramount+


“Parasite,” directed by Bong Joon-ho, is a darkly comedic thriller that follows the impoverished Kim family as they con their way into the lives of the wealthy Park family. What begins as a sly social commentary on class disparity spirals into chaos and violence, revealing the depths of human desperation and cunning. The film’s intricate plot and masterful direction keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Bong Joon-Ho’s creation made history as the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It received widespread acclaim for its sharp critique of social inequality and its genre-blending narrative. The film also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and numerous other awards. “Parasite” has been celebrated globally, furthering the recognition of South Korean cinema and influencing filmmakers worldwide.

Stream Parasite on Max

The Farewell

“The Farewell,” directed by Lulu Wang, tells the heartfelt story of Billi, a Chinese-American woman who returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to spend time with her terminally ill grandmother. The family decides to keep the diagnosis a secret from the grandmother, creating a poignant exploration of cultural differences, familial bonds, and the complexities of saying goodbye.

Based on Wang’s own experiences, “The Farewell” resonated deeply with audiences for its authentic portrayal of family and cultural conflict. The film received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including a Golden Globe for Awkwafina’s performance as Billi. It sparked important discussions about cultural practices surrounding illness and death, and was praised for its heartfelt storytelling and representation of the Asian American experience.

Stream The Farewell on Max

The Wedding Banquet

“The Wedding Banquet,” directed by Ang Lee, is a comedic drama about Wai-Tung, a Taiwanese-American man who stages a fake wedding to appease his traditional parents while hiding his relationship with his partner Simon. Chaos ensues as the lie spirals out of control, leading to humorous and touching moments that highlight the clash between traditional expectations and modern life.

Released in 1993, “The Wedding Banquet” was one of Ang Lee’s early films that showcased his talent for blending comedy and drama with cultural insights. The film was praised for its sensitive handling of LGBTQ themes and its critique of cultural and familial expectations. It won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award, cementing Lee’s reputation as a master storyteller.

Stream The Wedding Banquet on Amazon Prime

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