Stirred by the high rates of Asian American suicide and depression, The Laundromat urgently questions the cultural imperative — “Don’t air your dirty laundry”—and along the way, asks, “Why are we like this and how can we change it?”
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A visit to the emergency room, an isolating silence, and a temporary health secret that morphs into an inexplicable shame. Vanessa embarks on a personal journey to understand exactly why the shame surfaced. Convinced that the silence and shame are cultural, Vanessa asks her friends to share about their own painful experiences and investigates her hunches with leaders in the Asian American community. Encouraged by her friends’ candor and new knowledge, Vanessa does what was previously impossible and holds intimate conversations with her friends’ families. But, it is also their candor that leads Vanessa to confront her own secret—a past depression that she’s never discussed.
How will she move past years of entrenched silence?
What will she learn by watching her friends interact with their families?
Vanessa navigates the generational conflict, the familial expectations, and the cyclical behaviors, because she knows what is at stake—Asian Americans suffer high rates of suicide and depression and are less likely to ask for professional mental health help. Thus, The Laundromat strives to air an entire culture’s dirty laundry, and in so doing, create a space for the filmmakers’ friends and families to open up. Here they initiate a dialogue about understanding your past, knowing you’re not alone, and learning to heal.
Want to keep the conversation going?
Listen to THE BULL AND THE BADGER, a podcast that picks up the conversation where the film leaves off.
Ponder deep thoughts and laugh along as April (The Bull) and Vanessa (The Badger) explore the intersection of API culture and mental health with the help of community leaders and friends.
Mouth sounds and hilarity ensue.