Independent Lens: Seeking Asian Female

About This Episode


Twice-divorced Steven is a white man obsessed with marrying a devoted young Asian woman. For years, he wrote to women through an online dating site that specializes in connecting Western men with Asian women. Steven eventually meets Sandy, a young, feisty and ambitious Chinese woman. They become engaged and she moves to San Francisco to marry him. Seeking Asian Female follows their tumultuous love story.

While attempting to work out the significant bumps, like a language barrier, in their relationship, filmmaker Debbie Lum finds herself becoming more than an outside observer. Newlyweds Steven and Sandy begin to rely heavily on Lum to bridge the giant gap between their two disparate cultures.

Sandy realizes that life with Steven and in America is not as expected but as she confronts Steven’s bad habits, he begins to change. His obsession becomes one of deep commitment, recognizing that in order to keep Sandy, he must learn how to be a caring, respectful, and culturally sensitive husband. Above all, he must face the reality of marriage — not to the sweet, innocent girl he imagined, but to a demanding, strong-willed Asian woman.