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She Marches in Chinatown

Directed by:

Della Chen


33 minutes

Since 1952, Seattle's unique drill team symbolizes Asian American pride amidst change.


In 1952, Asian American girls had no extra-curricular activities until Ruby Chow created the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team, the only one of its kind in the world. Despite gentrification, Title IX, and a global pandemic, seventy years later the drill team continues to define, represent and celebrate the evolving Asian American experience of its dedicated multigenerational participants.

Director Statement

When I was a teen in the 80’s I always wanted to be a part of the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team but regretfully never did. Born and raised as a first-generation Seattleite, my family enthusiastically looked forward to the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade. Seeing The Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team perform gave our family this kind of Asian connection to an American tradition. These girls were badass. When my daughter turned 11, I suggested she consider joining the drill team so I could vicariously live through this experience. Her initial reaction was she realized she didn’t have many Asian friends in her school or neighborhood in North Seattle (besides her cousins). As a parent, I started learning more about the drill team’s background and history and as a visual artist, I was astounded that this story has never been told in a film. With the rise in anti-Asian hate and the climate of the world, I want this film to make an impact on this generation, to take better care of our blending cultures and community. Ruby Chow is my inspiration. An unintimidated, American-born Chinese woman who cared about her community and made a difference. She was badass.

About the Director

Working at the intersections of reckoning and resiliency, queerness, and film, Della is a Seattle native and a documentary photographer and filmmaker. She has been telling visual stories for weddings, families, commercial and non-profit, and editorial assignments for the last 19 years. She has been involved in multi-media projects about homeless advocacy and aging out of foster care. Since 2018, Della has been a teaching artist for Pablove Shutterbugs, a non-profit organization that teaches the art of photography to kids living with cancer. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Youth in Focus, a free after school program in Seattle amplifying teen voices through photography and arts education. This is her first documentary film project and definitely not her last.



Tales from the Heart

(Free to attend - no ticket or pass required)
Thursday, October 26, 7:00 PM

Friday, March 8, 2024 at 7:00 PM


On-Demand (Worldwide). October 30 - November 5


Della Chen


Amy Benson


Dina Guttman


Jason J Chen


Ruby Chow, Cheryl Chow, Celina Tran, Colleen McKisson

Key Cast

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