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THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO - Film Screening and Discussion - Part of the Becoming American Documentary Film Series on Immigration

  • Date: October 29, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Location: JSAC room 1011, with a repeat screening in Chapel Hall, the Gallaudet University Museum

THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO - Film Screening and Discussion - Part of the Becoming American Documentary Film Series on Immigration


The Search for General Tso 

The last Becoming American documentary film screening and discussion will be on Monday, October 29, noon-2 p.m. in JSAC, room 1011, with a repeat screening at 7:30 p.m. in Chapel Hall, in the Gallaudet University Museum.

The Search for General Tso 

As much an immigration history as a culinary detective story, this ebullient documentary uses the ubiquitous Americanized dish, General Tso’s chicken, as a lens onto a larger story of immigration, adaptation and innovation to American popular culture. Early on, the film poses the question, “If Chinese Americans comprise only 1% of the U.S. population, why are there Chinese restaurants in almost every city across America?”  The filmmakers seek the answer in a journey through the Chinese American experience from the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads to the age of Panda Express. On-air historians, chefs, writers and enthusiasts provide accounts of the history of Chinese migration to America; the discriminatory 1880’s Chinese Exclusion Act that forced emigrants out of the labor market and into small business ownership; the modification of ‘exotic’ Chinese cuisine for American tastes; and the role of Chinese American community organizations in the dissemination of restaurants to the far corners of the nation to avoid competition and discrimination on the West Coast.

Image: On a red background with a Chinese restaurant menu viewed from the bottom, two giant chop-sticks holding a chicken nugget cast a shadow over a rider on a rearing horse.  In the Center: The Search for General TSO (white text) and Tribeca Film Festival 2014 (black text)

About BECOMING AMERICAN: A Documentary Film Series on Our Immigration Experience

From September 24 - October 29, the Drs. John S. & Betty J. Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center, in collaboration with the Gallaudet University Museum and the Multicultural Student Development and Mentoring program, will host "Becoming American" a documentary series on U.S. immigration. 

Becoming American is a project of City Lore in collaboration with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of the Sites of Conscience.  The project has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the HumanitiesExploring the Human Endeavor.  Films represent a selection of diverse immigration experiences drawn from both the past and the present. At each film screening we strive to add a "Deaf lens" to the topics raised. William Ennis, III, PhD, will introduce each film, provide historical context and co-moderate discussions.

Film screenings and discussion will be on Mondays, noon-2 p.m. in the Andrew Foster Auditorium on the Gallaudet University campus.  All screenings are free and open to the public.  Films are captioned.  Discussion will be in American Sign Language and spoken English.  For individual interpreting requests please contact Gallaudet Interpreting Services at  This film series has been pre-approved for RID CEUs.  Forms will be available at each screening/discussion, with .2 CEUs per screening event for a total of 1.2 CEUs for the series.

For those who cannot attend the Monday, noon-2 p.m. screening and discussion, an evening showing of the film will be offered on the same days, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Chapel Hall.  The evening screening is in ASL with English captions for the film.  Interpretation for the evening screening is available if requested one week in advance.

Gallaudet University is one of thirty-two sites nationwide selected to host this program series. 

Becoming American Screening Schedule:

September 24: New York and The Jewish Americans (clips from each)  

October 1:  Welcome to Shelbyville 

October 8: The New Americans 

October 15: Destination America, Episode 1 "The Golden Door"

October 22:  My American Girls 

October 29: The Search for General Tso 

For further information about the program, including a synopsis of each film:   For extensive educational materials:

Image description:  Becoming American in white print on top of a square b + w photo with a blue sepia tint.  The image from the early 1900s shows dozens of people carrying suitcases, boxes and bags.  Several wear identification tags on their clothing.   Under the image, in black print: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience.

Posted by Jean Bergey | Posted August 17, 2018 at 5:35 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002