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‘Definition Please’ Is a South Asian Ode to Rust Belt Pennsylvania

The new film “Definition Please” from Sujata Day manages to un-whiten one of the whitest cities in Western Pennsylvania. 

Sujata Day’s character Monica Chowdry shares a scene with friend Krista in front of popular Greensburg hangout Frosty Shack.

Sujata Day’s character Monica Chowdry shares a scene with friend Krista in front of popular Greensburg hangout Frosty Shack.

Courtesy of June Street Productions/Array Releasing

In the new film “Definition Please,” which debuts Jan. 21 on Netflix, director Sujata Day creates a world, or rather a city, made up almost entirely of South Asian-American characters, which she says reflects her own experience growing up.

This might be otherwise unremarkable if not for the fact that the city serving as a setting for the film, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is just 1% Asian, according to recent census statistics. Less than an hour from Pittsburgh, it is the seat of Westmoreland County, which is nearly 95% white and is so staunchly conservative in its politics that the local Democratic Party considered Donald Trump’s 29-point margin over Joe Biden in 2020 (smaller than previous Republican wins) to be progress