Film Screening: Bad Axe


Film Screening: Bad Axe

Date and Time

Friday, July 8, 2022 7:00 pm EST


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Harriet Tubman Theater

Event Type

Panel Discussion, Film Screenings



Join us for a screening of Bad Axe, part of the OTR International Film Festival. The film is the festival’s Freedom Award winner, awarded by the Freedom Center to the film that captures the broader notions of freedom and leaves viewers with a deeper understanding of and renewed commitment to equity and diversity.

Bad Axe is a real-time portrait of 2020, unfolding as an Asian American family in Trump’s rural America fights to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields. Set in director David Siev’s hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan, the film centers on his family’s restaurant struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, and his family struggling with the social unrest of 2020 as his sister marches alongside restaurant staff in a Black Lives Matter protest in a red pocket of rural Michigan. As the family members each struggle with the unprecedented moment in American and world history in their own ways, Bad Axe presents a layered perspective of freedoms and the American Dream as interpreted by multiple generations of an immigrant family.

The Freedom Award is presented annually by the Freedom Center as part of the OTR International Film Festival. It recognizes artistic excellence and community impact, with additional consideration given to those films that amplify voices and highlight perspectives that have been traditionally silenced or that address topics and causes related to systemic issues of freedom and unfreedom.

Bad Axe has garnered national acclaim, receiving the Audience Award for Documentary Feature and Special Jury Recognition for exceptional intimacy in storytelling at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. The film is directed by David Siev and produced by Jude Harris, Diane Quon, Kat Vasquez and executive producer Jeff Tremaine.

Learn more about the film at

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