Who Killed Vincent Chin?

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Who Killed Vincent Chin?
Directed byChristine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña
Produced byChristine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña
CinematographyKyle Kibbe
Edited byHolly Fisher
Distributed byFilmakers Library
Release date
  • 1987 (1987)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States

Who Killed Vincent Chin? is a 1987 American documentary film produced and directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Peña that recounts the murder of Vincent Chin. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[1] It was later broadcast as part of the PBS series POV.[2]

In 2021, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[3]


On a summer night in Detroit, two white autoworkers fatally beat Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese engineer, with a baseball bat.[4] The film tracks the incident from the initial eye-witness accounts through the trial and its repercussions for the families involved, and the American justice system at large.[5] After an outcry from the Asian American community, led by Vincent's mother Lily Chin, the case becomes a civil rights Supreme Court case. The case ends with tried killer Ronald Ebens' being let go with a suspended sentence and a small fine.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "THE 61ST ACADEMY AWARDS (1989)". Oscars.org. The Academy Awards. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  2. ^ "POV | Who Killed Vincent Chin: Filmmaker Interview | Season 2". Pbs.org. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (December 14, 2021). "National Film Registry Adds Return Of The Jedi, Fellowship Of The Ring, Strangers On A Train, Sounder, WALL-E & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Xing, Jun (1998). Asian America Through the Lens. CA: AltaMira Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780761991762.
  5. ^ Who Killed Vincent Chin?. PBS. 1987. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Who Killed Vincent Chin?. Filmmakers Library at filmmakers.com. 1987. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "All duPont-Columbia Award Winners". Columbia Journalism School. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "8th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival". Hawaii International Film Festival. Retrieved September 2, 2015.

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