”Bad Axe” with David Siev

54:37
 
Kongsi
 

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With its mouth-watering comfort food and welcoming atmosphere, Rachel’s of Bad Axe is the kind of family-run restaurant you’d be lucky to find in your neighborhood or passing through any small town. But, in this case, Rachel’s, started by the Siev family 25 years ago and still going strong, stands for something much bigger. As filmmaker David Siev shows in his remarkably candid and deeply emotional first feature “Bad Axe”, the very essence of the modern American dream, in all its complexity and contradiction, is represented in his parents’ struggles to make it in the rural community of Bad Axe, Michigan.

David joined Ken to talk about how, at the onset of the pandemic, he returned to Bad Axe to join his family and instinctively started filming everything. Not intending at first to make a documentary, over time, David found an irresistible and urgent story emerging: that of a “model minority” family beginning to find its voice in Trump’s America. What was the “light bulb moment” that led David down the path of making a documentary? In what ways did his father’s lingering childhood trauma of living through and escaping the Killing Fields of Cambodia create a cascading effect on the family? And how is it that a place, which, at times, can be outright vicious to the hard-working Sievs, also inspires the kind of love letter that David sees at the heart of his film? Alternating chilling scenes of intolerance with poignant moments of a family’s unshakeable faith in each other, “Bad Axe” is a story as American as apple pie, baked with love by this extraordinary Cambodian Mexican American family.

Hidden Gem: “Sam Now

Follow on Twitter:

@DavidSiev

@badaxefilm

@topdocspod

“Bad Axe” is currently available for streaming on Prime Video and other streaming services.

The Presenting Sponsor of "Top Docs" is Netflix.

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