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Three young people caught between their political and spiritual commitments find brief moments of peace in a melancholic and shadowy vision of Chinatown’s forgotten past.

A feature film debut

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When their grandfather Gong Gong goes missing, twenty-something cousins Mei and Chris cut diverging paths through a haunting vision of New York’s Chinatown. In a world that's suggestive of both 1971 and 2022, Mei, leader of a radical leftist collective, implores Chris to get more involved – but he’s fixated on uncovering spiritual purity and the true story of a 250-year-old monk their grandfather met. Meanwhile, Mei’s partner Leonard starts to question all his life’s pursuits.

A work of emotional intensity bubbling just beneath the surface, CHARACTERS DISAPPEARING is an existential portrait of griefs large and small. Conducting original research into a vanishing era – and pulling from his own family history and personal encounters with anti-Asian violence – Connor Sen Warnick’s debut feature examines collective paranoias from the 1970s and present day. This is a Chinatown rarely seen, a place without a lantern or dragon in sight - where bursts of unexplained violence and spectral figures co-exist with the promise, and fraying, of multi-ethnic solidarities.

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