THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, the documentary that explores the mystery behind the ubiquitous Chinese food menu item, is shared direct from the Tribeca Film Fest with director Ian Cheney. The man behind the delicious dish, the phenomenon of ethnic food in America, and more are shared with the film trailer in this BYOD.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
From New York City to the farmlands of the Midwest, there are 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S., yet one dish in particular has conquered the American culinary landscape with a force befitting its military moniker—“General Tso’s Chicken.” But who was General Tso and how did this dish become so ubiquitous? Ian Cheney’s delightfully insightful documentary charts the history of Chinese Americans through the surprising origins of this sticky, sweet, just-spicy-enough dish that we’ve adopted as our own.
Ian Cheney grew up in Massachusetts and Maine, and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University. Ian’s latest production, THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, a collaboration with author Jennifer 8 Lee, was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State Council of the Arts, and will premiere in film festivals in spring 2014.
00:01 THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, with Ian Cheney.
01:07 The idea for the film.
03:54 The strange history of Chinese food in America.
07:10 Focusing on a very American chicken dish.
09:57 IN SEARCH OF GENERAL TSO, trailer.