Bad Axe


The Main 2 Tue, May 17, 2022 4:15 PM
The Main 4 Thu, May 19, 2022 9:30 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$15.00 (+$2 online fee)
Members:$10.00 (no online fee)
Student:$8.00 (box office only)
Film Info
Festival Programs:New American Visions
Culture & Society
Asian Interest
Release Year:2022
Runtime:100 min
Festivals & Awards:SXSW 2022 Special Jury Prize
Print Source:The Film Sales Company
Director:David Siev
Executive Producer:Jeff Tremaine
Shanna Newton
Michael Meinhold
Tim Chow
Producer:Jude Harris
Diane Quon
Kat Vasquez
David Siev
Cinematographer:David Siev
Editor:Rosie Walunas
Peter Wagner
Composer:Stephanie Kowal


Filmmaker David Siev is the son of a Cambodian-refugee father and Mexican-American mother, whose family owns a restaurant in rural Bad Axe, Michigan. His stunning documentary debut captures the struggles of the family to keep their restaurant alive in the face of a pandemic, racism, and a politically divided America.

At the start of the COVID outbreak, filmmaker David Siev converges, along with the rest of his siblings, on the family home in the small town of Bad Axe, Michigan in order to support their parents and to help save the family restaurant (“Rachel’s of Bad Axe”). It’s an all-hands-on-deck affair, which puts a huge amount of stress on each family member. And then George Floyd is murdered and one of the restaurant’s employees helps organize a Black Lives Matter march. Suddenly, the stakes are raised. Will the family’s younger generation support the marchers and potentially put the restaurant’s Trump-supporting customer base at risk? Will the family become the target of Neo-Nazi’s? Will David’s father, who survived the killing fields of Cambodia and built a new life for himself in Bad Axe, see everything he worked for go up in smoke? Bad Axe is a quintessentially American story that poses this urgent question: If Rachel’s can’t make it, is there hope for our divided country as a whole? The film is bound to leave you cheering and crying in equal measure. Winner, Audience Award, 2022 SXSW Film Festival.

Director Biography

David Siev

Raised in Bad Axe, Michigan and a graduate of the University of Michigan, David Siev moved to Los Angeles and found work at Jeff Tremaine’s production company, Gorilla Flicks. He is the director of the acclaimed short film Year Zero (2018). Bad Axe (2022) is his feature documentary debut.