To whom it may concern:

Do you prefer subject? Character? One who is followed? What's the most appropriate here, what's the most comfortable for you, what's going to make it feel more horizontally level between us?

Is it truth we seek? A reckoning of why we get up out of bed and do the things we do? A reflection on these things from a distance, when time and space and age and wisdom and growth and more time has made us change our perspective enough to feel as if we've matured, moved on, or at the very least are able to articulate something we've experience that is confusing and traumatic and not at all our fault?

Do you care, honestly, as much as I do that our fathers hurt us? I mean now, as we live on in our own independent ways, trying our best to do what makes us happy--are you as bothered, in a sub-physical, gnawing way, that we can't do anything about that hurt except own it, attempt catharsis, maybe try to make art or do work that chips away at the pain? Is it just me that feels this way?

Or are you staring off, eye uncontacting, because you don't want to admit it? Because the whole point in our fathers hurting us was so that we could learn that life is pain, suffering unavoidable, unfairness a certainty? That you shouldn't be a little bitch, a little pussy, a little pansy--that this just makes you vulnerable in this godforsaken violent hurtful reality of the world? Is this what our own fathers learned? Can they know anything else, or is it too late? Will you at least admit these things and let us feel our feelings, even if we feel differently, just for a moment, even if we know exactly why we bury our hearts in our wallets or clothes or act, even if the next day we go back to burying because its just more practical in the real world?

And what then if it is getting better? That if every generation sheds more and more layers of tough authoritative parental skin--this shedding caused by late capitalistic wealth or sacrificed lessons (like the way 1st generation immigrants' hands get worked to the bone only to have their 3rd generation immigrant childrens' hands chapped by Angry Bird swiping)--what happens then to toughness and thick-skin and resiliency? Is it even right to think of violence and fragility as a spectrum?

Are we too stuck in our own battles of what our fathers did to us and who we want/strive/desire to be? Are we like the 2nd generation immigrant person, trapped between two cultures: one mad as hell and pent up about our providing but alienating parents and another softly eyeing an ideal future where we want better for our own kids? In 1000 years will we be martyrs to a bygone generation where men asserted their dominance and/or allayed their insecurities inside the home by grabbing their spouses by the throat, by grabbing their children by the collars of their shirt and throwing them across the room?

If you had known that these were the questions I sought, would you have signed on to set sail with me? What if--and this part is true--I didn't know either that these were the questions I sought, except that I wanted answers anyway? Would you mutiny, citing for reasons a monomaniacal Ahab too obsessed with his own barely contained PTSD to care about the people on board with him and their own well-being? Is it too late for you though? Have you, like I feel like I have, come too far to go back? Have you left Plato's Cave and can never again believe in shadows without also believing shadow-makers?

Is this what we mean, or I mean, since you guys didn't finish high school and I studied Derrida in college (is this condescending to write, and is it worth my audience's attention to reword?) when I say deconstructing? Or are we demystifying, as in removing the mythology out of what we grew up to believe--whether it be gender roles or Santa Claus or skateboarding as savior?

Is anybody even going to want to answer these questions? Are these the type of rhetorical questions--or questions that are themselves trying to prove a point--that can only be satisfactorily answered by more questions, by people who are okay with uncertainty?

Your filmmaker,

Bing Liu

P.S. Please take me seriously, I only want that.