A new documentary has revealed the completely unknown history of six Chinese men who were part of the 705 out of 2,200 passengers and crew who survived the “unsinkable” Titanic.
Directed by British filmmaker Arthur Jones and executive produced by James Cameron, The Six tells the story of six Chinese passengers – Lee Bing, Fang Lang, Chang Chip, Ling Hee, Ah Lam and Chung Foo – who were denied entry into the US after the tragedy on 15 April.
The film took six years to make. Its lead researcher, Steven Schwankert and his team pored over archives, tracking down missing records, and met descendants across continents to try and piece together this history that was almost erased.
Schwankert also said that the story is relevant and that the horrendous hate crime towards Asian Americans that happened in Atlanta recently just highlights the issues that the six Chinese passengers experienced 100 years ago.
“It does highlight that these are not new problems,” Schwankert said. “I wish I could say that we’re so wise now and those things are fixed. But the same kind of misunderstanding and, unfortunately, the same kind of hostility still exists today.”
The documentary was released in theatres in China on 16 April 2021, a day after the 109th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and tells the tale of immigration, racial discrimination and class inequality that is still prevalent throughout the world today.
Learn more about the film here.