“East Side Sushi”: A crowd-pleaser about a Latina sushi chef toiling tirelessly to beat the odds doesn’t gloss over the stereotyping, expectations and glass ceiling that minorities find themselves up against. Anthony Lucero, a visual-effects editor who’s worked on “Iron Man” and many other tentpoles, proves he’s just as skilled a director as those under whom he’s labored.
“Top Spin”: The table-tennis players in this documentary attempt to realize the elusive American dream. Filmmakers Mina T. Son and Sara Newens give us an idea just how hard the three subjects — two second-generation immigrants among them — have pushed themselves to strive for excellence and reach their full potential.
“Supremacy”: Based on actual events in Sonoma County two decades ago, this drama proves immensely relevant by forcing viewers to reckon with the horrors of racism and hate crimes. Director Deon Taylor, a former basketball player, captivates viewers with the precision and timing of a pro.
“Drunktown’s Finest”: Three Native Americans grapple with their heritage and identity in a heartbreaking look at minorities’ struggle to preserve a sense of dignity, pride and self-worth within the melting pot. No one has articulated this as perceptively as Navajo filmmaker Sydney Freeland.
No más: Lack of diversity has permeated every facet of the American film industry. Until Hollywood meaningfully addresses this, it’ll never eradicate practices as absurd, regressive and repugnant as a century of yellowface — with Emma Stone in “Aloha” and Mackenzie Davis in “The Martian” following in the 1915 footsteps of Mary Pickford in “Madame Butterfly.”