The Claudia Kishi Club

A lot of discussion has been happening of late about how if your identity or culture or just people who look like you do not appear on the big or small screens then you had nothing to identify with. No role models. No representation. In a mere 17 minutes director Sue Ding shows how true that was/is and how the character of Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club became so important to members of the Asian American community.

In the novels and then the subsequent film (and now in the Netflix series) one of the main characters was Claudia Kishi. Claudia was a Japanese-American who was championed and adored by large swaths of the Asian community in the United States. Especially girls who were young at that time.

Though it is still rare, it was even more true in the 1980s and 1990s that Asians were represented in films and television shows. This made it even more important that Claudia existed. That she was part of a really popular series of novels and that it was a positive portrayal. Claudia was cool. Also, she was not a stereotypical portrayal.

This short documentary features interviews with several creatives who talk about the importance of the character for them. Yumi Sakagawa, Naia Cucukov, C.B. Lee, Sarah Kuhn, Phil Yu and Gale Galligan all talk about the positive influence of Claudia. How she was someone who spurred them to feel a little more comfortable about who they were.

Filled with interviews, clips, photos, and some clever visuals we get some important insights and discussions from them, who are all now adults, about the character. Though it was a little short leaving me thinking that some topics were not fully dicussed and I wanted to hear more.

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