Premiere: Emma Lee Toyoda’s New Video Is a Haunting Femme Fever Dream

Directed by Anissa Amalia, “fuuuck // Dream” waltzes through an otherworldly realm.

Emma Lee Toyoda’s “fuuuck // Dream” opens with a noisy tangle of murmurs and strings. Seemingly located in the liminal space of a fever dream, the surreal, nocturnal video, directed by Anissa Amalia and Josh Vredevoogd, follows Emma Tsuruko as they wander through the corridors of a glowing red, womb-like house filled with elegant womxn and femmes of color at every turn. In the cadence of a deliberate and defiant waltz, Tsuruko promises, “When the sun is out of sight / and the moon emits its light / When the world is a strange hue / I’ll come for you.” The final image of the group of assembled femmes staring straight into the camera is nothing short of arresting.

The song and video were inspired by Tsuruko’s attempts to come to terms with their sexual and cultural identity after the election. Tsuruko, who recently began using she/they pronouns, says they’re “still in the process of figuring out exactly who I am and what exactly my sexuality means to me.” Of the video, they said in a post on Facebook, “I’m extremely nervous to share it with the world but I hope that someday a young Asian American femme stumbles upon it and sees someone who looks like them, in a lead role for once, doing what they love to do. I hope they see that they belong in poc communities & spaces, despite all of the internalized racism and model minority myths learned from a young age. I hope they’re inspired to take up space & make their voice heard, to advocate for themselves and other disenfranchised poc.”

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