SxSW 2022 Review – BAD AXE

Bad Axe is a small rural town in Michigan. This documentary of the same name is about an Asian American family that lives in that town. We see them living through all the events that we all dealt with in the last two years, primarily the Black Lives Matters movement, the 2020 US Election and global pandemic.  It’s a beautiful tale about how this town is a great microcosm to the divisions and hope that we lived through this time.   

The town of Bad Axe is one of Trump’s voting strongholds and roughly 80% of the people in this town voted for him.  The family owns the only Asian restaurant town. They are always careful not to insult their customers but the new event in the country is making them question this strategy. The patriarch of the family is a Cambodian Refugee that escape the Khmer Rouge killing fields and made his way to America. You can tell he is worried about the Trump Cult from his past experience. Here in America, he marries a Mexican American woman. He is not the best father as he wants to not ruffle feathers with the other town folks. At the same time, he is a strong believer in the second amendment and has a huge weapons cache in his house. He is also a Taekwondo master. His daughter has all moved from the big cities and moved back home during the pandemic as they can work from home. They want to be closer to their parents. They deal with threats from white supremacist when the daughters participate in Black Live Matters protest. People that don’t want to wear masks trying to enter their restaurant.  I should mention that there were good people in this town.

BAD AXE is a great documentary about minorities that live in Trump country and how they live in this environment and it’s quite surprising how they live in this community. I love how this shows a family that came together to deal with a crisis that was wrecking the world. It was a great cathartic experience film as we are finally coming out of this pandemic. 

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