DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | 73 MIN | Tribeca Film Festival 2014
From New York City to the farmlands of the Midwest, there are around 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the US. While there can be quite a range of Chinese American dishes, one in particular seems to have conquered the American culinary landscape with a force befitting its military moniker—“General Tso’s Chicken.” Walk into any Chinese restaurant in the country and you can be fairly certain you’ll be rewarded with a plate of this sweet and sticky fried chicken—seemingly just spicy enough for the American palate. But how did this dish reach such levels of ubiquity and who was General Tso in the first place? This delightfully insightful documentary seeks to uncover the origins of a dish that Americans have warmly adopted as their own. As director Ian Cheney journeys to Shanghai and Hunan, it becomes increasingly clear that the answers lie much closer to home, as the story of General Tso’s Chicken becomes inextricably linked to the story of Chinese Americans’ own search to define their identity. —Ian Hollander
The Search for General Tso is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. Student-budget friendly ticket prices for the Monday, April 21 screening at 3:00PM. Click here for the trailer and purchasing information.
Length: 73 minutes
Language: Chinese, English
Director Ian Cheney is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past projects include King Corn (2007), The Greening of Southie (2008), Truck Farm (2010), and The City Dark (2011).