Director's Statement
This frame-by-frame hand drawn animation film was commissioned by the Chinese Culture Center to memorialize the notorious Chinatown Portsmouth Square bridge which will be demolished in in 2024. This was a great honor as my father immigrated from Hong Kong into an SRO (single-room occupancy affordable housing) in Chinatown in the 60’s. 
I struggled to write this story. The facts were there: this bridge divided the neighborhood both metaphorically and physically. It physically connects Chinatown’s low-income residents from the resources of the Chinese Culture Center. The bridge is hated by the public, and revered by outsiders of conventional society like skaters, elderly who used it to “saan bou” or stroll, and the pigeons who called it home. Additionally, Portsmouth Square serves as “Chinatown’s Living Room” where residents spend copious amount of time in the park outside their cramped SROs. It hosts the most monuments per square in San Francisco - yet none of them were dedicated to the Chinese. Chinatown is also one of the last standing San Francisco neighborhoods against gentrification forces. I questioned what it all meant in conjunction and if my perspective was the right one to tell this story.
It started with a simple question: where do pigeons go to die? You see many across the city, and especially in Chinatown with their favorite type of human - Chinese elders tossing bread crumbs; but you don’t see them after their time expires. It led me to think more about these birds and how they know Chinatown’s hidden alley ways and corners better than the average person, and playfully imagine the weight that comes with being able to live forever. 
There are many parallels to pigeons and Chinese people as well, like how both groups have been seen as “disease spreaders” and there being “too many of them.” They are communities both isolated and impovershed. Yet despite despair, both choose to persevere and adapt to new times.
Keeping true to the futuristic themes of this story, new technology like AI was utilized in a particular animation sequence.
This is a letter dedicated to grief, memory, and Chinatown.
- Spencer Tsang, Director, Writer

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