Linsanity, Evan Leong’s documentary about the rise and rise of Chinese American basketball star Jeremy Lin, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and has now begun showing at other festivals around the US.
8Asian’s John Lin was at the San Francisco premiere:
The documentary highlights Lin’s struggles each step of the way, from his early beginnings to where he is today with the Houston Rockets. With his faith in God, support from family, friends and coaches, a LOT of hard work and dedication, many up’s and down’s, and lucky breaks, Lin overcomes a lot of self-doubt and self and outside pressure and is able to overcome all these obstacles to pursue his dreams of playing in the NBA.
After Lin’s return [from Taiwan], the NBA had a lockout and players strike and the regular season looked possibly in jeopardy. During that time, Lin trained hard and worked a lot on his game. After the lockout and before the compressed season began, Lin is dropped and picked up by the Houston Rockets, then after something like 10 days and cut on Christmas. Then the New York Knicks pick him up. The Knicks quickly move Lin to the Knick’s D-league for a game, then back to the Knicks. Then we see LINSANITY begin to emerge.
As we see LINSANITY unfolding, we also start to racial slurs and biases crop up. Angry Asian Man’s Phil Yu made some cameos in the documentary, highlighting some of the racial slurs that Lin experienced in college and that began to unfold during LINSANITY, including the infamous ESPN reporter’s chink the armor comment, a local news broadcast making fun on Lin’s eyes and a very brief Saturday Night Live clip of a skit that highlighted the double standard of racial intolerance towards Asian Americans that would not be accepted for African Americans.
After viewing the documentary, if you’re not amazed, inspired and delighted about Lin’s story, you have no heart. I can’t say LINSANITY is the most insightful, eye opening or life changing documentary you’ll ever see, but even if you’re not a sports fan, there is a lot to like about the film itself and certainly Lin’s story.