The Grace Lee Project

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The Grace Lee Project
The Grace Lee Project.jpg
Promotional release poster
Directed byGrace Lee
Written by
  • Grace Lee
  • Amy Ferraris
Produced byGrace Lee
Narrated byGrace Lee
CinematographyJerry A. Henry
Edited byAmy Ferraris
Music byWoody Pak
Leelee Films
Distributed byWomen Make Movies
Release date
  • March 11, 2005 (2005-03-11) (CAAMFest)
Running time
68 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Grace Lee Project is a 2005 American documentary film directed and co-written by Grace Lee. It is about Lee's attempt to define a common set of stereotypes associated with the name that she shares with the film's subjects.


Growing up in Columbia, Missouri, director Grace Lee felt that she had a unique name and identity, as there were not many other Asians in her community. When she moved to New York City and Los Angeles, she found her name shared by many other people. Dissatisfied with the "nice" personality commonly ascribed to the Asian-American women with this name, she sets out to find people who break the mold, including Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American philosopher and activist.


Lee traveled throughout the United States to meet other people with her name. Although she heard from non-Asians, she chose to focus solely on people of Asian descent. Funding was made possible through public television.[1]


The Grace Lee Project opened in New York on December 14, 2005.[2]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 95% of 21 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 7.1/10.[3] Metacritic rated it 63/100 based on twelve reviews.[4] Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that the film's "trivial-sounding hook manages to float a funny but complex meditation on identity, ethnicity and cultural expectations".[5] John Anderson of the Los Angeles Times called it "a journey of realization for anyone who's ever felt lost in the crowd."[6] Stephen Holden of The New York Times described it as a witty autobiography that is "really about cultural assimilation and a stereotype of virtue and subservience that has deep roots on both sides of the Pacific."[7] Noel Murray of The A.V. Club wrote of Lee that "her technique is pretty much everything that's wrong with documentary filmmaking today."[8]


  1. ^ Kam, Nadine (2002-11-14). "Exploring 'Grace' land". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  2. ^ Krinsky, Tamara. "Hello, My Name is Grace Lee". International Documentary Association. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  3. ^ "The Grace Lee Project (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  4. ^ "The Grace Lee Project". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  5. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2005-04-12). "Review: 'The Grace Lee Project'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  6. ^ Anderson, John (2006-03-31). "'Grace Lee' and company". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (2005-12-14). "Who Can Grace Lee Be? Personalities Behind a Name". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-10-04.
  8. ^ Murray, Noel (2005-12-14). "The Grace Lee Project". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-10-04.

External links[edit]