‘Bad Axe’ makes its Michigan premiere at the Freep Film Festival

In a poignant scene of “Bad Axe,” director David Siev steps in front of the camera to define why his latest documentary film is a love letter to his hometown.

Bad Ax is the small town in the Michigan Thumb where Siev’s immigrant parents settled in pursuit of the American dream. It’s the place where the duo raised four kids and opened Rachel’s, a restaurant that has served traditional American cuisine and specialty dishes that nod to the family’s Mexican and Asian American roots for nearly 25 years.

“Growing up in Bad Ax has just shaped so much of who our family is,” Siev says.

It’s the place Siev left to pursue better opportunities in film in Los Angeles and New York after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2015, and the place to which he returned in March 2020 while the film industry was on hiatus. It’s also the name of the documentary, which follows the Siev family through the COVID-19 pandemic, and screens at the Freep Film Festival April 28.

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