Tea & Justice: Defying Stereotypes, Changing Law Enforcement

Critical Feedback

“Bold, sensitive, passionate, analytical and iconoclastic. At first I was hesitant about the subject matter of “police and the state” but Vinluan quickly dispelled that. So much of policing is male macho posturing but these women don’t seem to have succumbed to that. Asian American culture and women can make a difference in the way policing is done. I love TEA & JUSTICE – an excellent job.”

Estella Habal, Professor, Asian American Studies, San Jose State University

“A heartfelt documentary showing why diversity is critical for society to progress… delightful… pulls no punches in telling the story of these pioneering women. BRAVO, TEA & JUSTICE!”

Atty. Rocky Chin, New York City Civil Rights Commission under Mayor David Dinkins; Board of Directors – Asian American Arts Alliance

“I love this film! Vinluan explores with a broad vision and a fine sense of humor… She herself evolves throughout the film – especially from a 1960s pig-wary activist to one who comes to empathize with these three officers… Viewers are challenged to be similarly moved.”

Augusto Espiritu, Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“… links their profession as defenders of the law to a long line of women warriors. Most interesting is that TEA & JUSTICE is framed through Vinluan’s own critical reflection, as someone who has had a conflicted relationship with the police. She uses this personal conflict to guide her attentive depiction…”

Lucy San Pablo Burns, Professor U.C.L.A., Asian American Studies

“Informative and highly engaging... with insight and humor... Vinluan’s own visual and verbal meta-commentary add an original quality to the traditional merits of a documentary film.”

Angela Pao, Professor, Indiana University Bloomington

  • "In Tea & Justice" Vinluan tells, with humor and balance, a fascinating story.  Following the careers of the first Asian women in the NYPD she shows us how Asians, women and the NYPD itself have adjusted to each other — and how all communities benefit when a police force is diverse."

    SJ Rozan, Edgar-Award winning author, "In This Rain" and the Lydia Chin NYC private eye series

  • "Tea & Justice chronicles the extraordinary careers of three police officers who happen to be Asian women. Their stories represent the hearts and minds of anyone who has struggled to overcome glass ceilings and unfair stereotyping."

    Jeff Adachi, City of San Francisco Public Defender & Documentary Filmmaker–"The Slanted Screen"

  • TEA & JUSTICE demonstrates, better than any research study, the critical importance of diversity and gender equity to successful police work that relies less on force and more on communication with citizens and respect for their rights. These stories of the first Asian women to join the New York Police Department show how courageous individuals can make a difference in policing, and especially why women and minorities must be part of police departments in the 21st century.

    David A. Harris, Author, “Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing” (The New Press, 2005) Balk Professor of Law and Values, University of Toledo College of Law

  • “A beautifully crafted and penetrating film – TEA & JUSTICE is a must-see. These 3 women’s accomplishments – combined with other women of color, are a force changing law enforcement’s internal culture towards a more equitable and accessible one… Police departments are a tight fraternity where the code of silence is impenetrable yet these women have made remarkable gains transforming an institution like the NYPD which has had a racially-troubled history of policing in the Asian, Black and Hispanic communities. Filmmaker Ermena Vinluan is a shining star whose talents illuminate our consciousness on a neglected, almost invisible topic. How powerful.”

    Emil DeGuzman, Chair, Board of Directors – International Hotel and Manilatown Heritage Foundation, San Francisco, CA

Artists & Photo credits for Goddesses: (Top drawing) “Third century Japanese Queen, Jingo, a Samurai," computergraphic on paper by Fernando Salicrup, 1998: (Middle drawing) Excerpt from “The Trung Sisters”, charcoal and pastel drawing on paper, by Laurie James, 2005: (Bottom Left painting) Excerpt from “The Trung Sisters”, acrylic paint on paper, by Christine Quisumbing, 1999: (Bottom Left painting) Excerpt from “Kwan-yin – Gold”, encaustic painting on linen by Dr. Elaine Soto, 2002