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Chinatown in the Shadow
A documentary by Frank Didik
For Public Television
Copyright 2002
All rights reserved

  Chinatown in the Shadow is a well crafted, high caliber documentary with strong visuals and story line, describing how the diverse inhabitants of New York's "Chinatown" were effected by the destruction of the World Trade Center. The documentary describes the neighborhood before and after the destruction and covers the sadness, fears, concerns and thoughts of various members of the community. For the first three weeks after the World Trade Center was destroyed, Chinatown, which normally is a crowded, bustling, exciting community, and one of New York Cities major tourist attractions, was almost completely sealed off for security reasons. During this period, Chinatown was a virtual ghost town. Mott Street, which is the main thoroughfare through Chinatown, and is usually clogged, from morning till night, with thousands of tourists, residents and vehicles, was completely deserted. Besides the enormous economic loss to Chinatown, during the period of closure, there has been a massive continuing loss with a substantial reduction of tourist trade as well as people who found alternative places to go to and simply never came back.

  The film starts out briefly showing Chinatown from the turn of the Century, when Chinatown was then considered a Hungarian neighborhood to just before the WTC horror. It shows crowded streets with the Trade Center in the background. Six residents and workers of the community, representing very different backgrounds, are interviewed. A Burmese-American Doctor, originally from California describes the effect on her hospital; an American of Chinese ancestry who principal partner in one of the largest architectural companies in the world, who specializes in super tall skyscrapers, describes what he saw from the window of his home. His opinions are important since several of the chief architects who designed the World Trade Center between 1964 and 1967, now work for his company. In addition, a recent Vietnamese immigrant, who works as a street vendor is interviewed (through the voice of a translator), a restaurant worker is interviewed, a Korean American fine arts restorer and a well known artist are also interviewed. Each interview is enhanced with excellent and historically fascinating footage of various aspects of Chinatown the the neighboring communities.

  The program is slated to be a 60 minute special, though it can also be lengthened to a very interesting and informative 3 part series. Precise accuracy is very important and is not overlooked in this production. The overall view of the program is favorable to the Chinatown community. The program is historically fascinating and of great interest to a wide audience. It is expected to we widely viewed and accepted. All portions are subject to change without notice.

Directed and Produced by
Frank Didik
Artist - Designer - Writer - Cinematographer - Photographer

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