Tracing History

Jalena Keane-Lee (Director), Reaa Puri (Producer) | 2023 | 13 min.

2024 Official Selection

Tracing History follows a Chinese American filmmaker and her mother as they contemplate loss, legacy, and the stories that get left out of history while visiting sites where their Chinese ancestors labored to build the transcontinental railroad six generations ago. They travel to locations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Great Basin Desert. From Montgomery Pass where 150 year old artifacts lay strewn across the ground, to catfish pond where catfish brought by Chinese laborers still survive a 7,000 feet elevation, to Paoha Island on Mono Lake where Chinese finally found refuge after a racist mob chased them out of town. As they travel and retrace their own history they find the space to open up about the present and deepen their relationship to each other.

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