The Claudia Kishi Club

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
The Claudia Kishi Club Movie Poster Image
Docu for fans of Baby-Sitter's Club character; language.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 17 minutes

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's important to see images that look like you in the media to support self esteem.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Asian American writers, illustrators, and creators all feel they blossomed in part because the character of Claudia gave them permission to be different from Asian stereotypes. Diversity includes characters who identify as LGBTQ+.

Violence

Subjects discuss feeling excluded and being made fun of for their "almond-shaped eyes" and "jet black hair." Claudia experiences racism when a white family won't let her in their house because she's Asian.

Sex
Language

"F--k," "s--t," "damn," and "ass."

Consumerism

Merchandise generated by the popular The Baby-Sitters Club book series is on display. Several candies and cookie brands are mentioned by name as favorites of a fictional character.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Claudia Kishi Club is a 17-minute documentary about the lasting effects the sole Asian American character in the popular 1980s and 1990s book series The Baby-Sitters Club (also a TV show) has had on Asian American kids. Artists and writers interviewed credit the existence of Claudia, an iconic, stereotype-busting character, as key to embracing themselves. Subjects discuss feeling excluded and being made fun of for their "almond-shaped eyes" and "jet black hair." Language include "f--k," "s--t," "damn," and "badass."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byPocket Pigs August 7, 2020

Very Interesting

I watched Netflix's new series The Babysitters Club and liked it, so when I finished that show I decided to watch The Claudia Kishi Club. I found it extre... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old July 21, 2020

boring

to much language

What's the story?

THE CLAUDIA KISHI CLUB is a celebration of the one Asian American character depicted in the popular The Baby-Sitter's Club series of children's books. The short film emphasizes how a seemingly small nod to the existence of Asian American girls who don't fit the usual stereotype could unleash the pride and creative energies of a generation of young Asian American boys and girls. Unlike pervasive images of quiet, scholastically high-performing, over-scheduled, genius kids, Claudia can't spell, gets bad grades (except for art), and loves to dress in attention-getting hipster fashions that express her "wild" nature. Interviewees, including Sarah Kuhn, Naia Cucukov, Gale Galligan, CB Lee, and Phil Yu, are all thankful for the depiction of an Asian American kid in whom they could recognize themselves. From Claudia they learned, "There is not just one way to be an Asian person."

Is it any good?

This short documentary is a charming, arts-and-crafty look at the way the title's Asian American character inspired and gave permission to young Asian American kids to be themselves. The painful alternative many say they faced was to always feel they were disappointments to parents who demanded straight As, virtuosity, and otherwise distinguished kids. Using a scrapbook-y, animated framing style between interviews, director Sue Ding mimics the creativity, energy, and vividness of Claudia, the inspiration for Asian American kids who read the books. The Claudia Kishi Club demonstrates that this is a rich subject that other filmmakers and writers can mine to create more documentaries and books.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way kids learn from images and stereotypes presented in the media. How were the interview subjects in The Claudia Kishi Club influenced by and strengthened by positive qualities that Claudia embodied?

  • Why do you think some Asian American kids are told by their parents to "fit in" and not "create waves"? How do you think hearing such advice could affect kids growing up?

  • How do you think stereotypes are created? Why is it unfair to prejudge people before you know them?      

Movie details

  • On DVD or streaming: July 10, 2020
  • Director: Sue Ding
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 17 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: May 6, 2021

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