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AsiaLENS
AEMS Documentary and Independent Film Series
at the Spurlock Museum

AsiaLENS is a series of free public film screenings and lecture / discussion programs -- organized by AEMS in collaboration with Spurlock Museum and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities -- presenting recent documentary and independent films on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia.

Local and visiting experts introduce the films and lead audiences in post-screening discussions.

All AsiaLENS screenings are FREE and open to the public.

Spurlock Museum screenings are held the second Tuesdays of February, March and April for Spring 2014. The Spurlock Museum is located at 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL.

Full schedule for Spring 2014 is listed below.

Information on past screenings:Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010,
Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013

 


AsiaLENS Spring 2014 Calendar:

Mulberry Child
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

High Tech, Low Life
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana IL

The Revolutionary
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL




Mulberry Child
A film by Susan Morgan Cooper. Based on the book by Jian Ping. 2011. 85 minutes. In English.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Post screening discussion with Jian Ping and Lisa Xia.

Special AsiaLENS programming in conjunction with this screening:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
12:00pm Lisa Xia talk at Food for Thought
Asian American Cultural Center
1210 West Nevada Street, MC-149
Urbana, IL 61801

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
3:00pm Jian Ping and Lisa Xia discussion:
Mulberry Child: Bridging a Cultural Divide from Memoir to Film

Spurlock Museum, , Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Mulberry Child

Description:
Published in 2009, Jian Ping’s memoir Mulberry Child tells the history of the Mao’s Cultural Revolution through personal stories principally written for her American raised daughter to understand the struggles and sacrifices her family made in order to survive persecution faced in China. In the 2011 film by Susan Morgan Cooper, reenacted personal history and stock footage are combined to retrace the Cultural Revolution and its devastating effects on Jian Ping’s family, while current day footage of mother and daughter in the United States illustrate a tenuous relationship resulting from their cultural divide.

Resources:
Distributed by American Dream Pictures
Film website: Mulberry Child
Mulberry Child Trailer

Reviews:
Roger Ebert
New York Times

Filmmaker Interview:
Interview with Susan Morgan Cooper


High Tech, Low Life
A film by Stephen Maing. 2012. 87 minutes.
In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 -7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Introduction and discussion by Yimin Wang, Associate Director, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, UI.



High Tech Low Life

Description:
High Tech, Low Life follows two of China’s first citizen–reporters as they document the underside of the country’s rapid economic development. A search for truth and fame inspires young vegetable seller "Zola" to report on censored news stories from the cities, while retired businessman "Tiger Temple" makes sense of the past by chronicling the struggles of rural villagers. Land grabs, pollution, rising poverty, local corruption and the growing willingness of ordinary people to speak out are grist for these two bloggers who navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and challenge the boundaries of free speech.

POV Logo
This event is a collaboration with POV, the award-winning independent non-fiction film series on PBS. 

Resources:
Distributed by POV
Filmmaker website: High Tech, Low Life
High Tech, Low Life Trailer

Reviews:
New York Times
Variety

Filmmaker Interview:
Interview with Stephen Maing


The Revolutionary
A film by Irv Drasnin, Lucy Ostrander, and Don Sellers.  2012. 92 minutes
In English.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 7:00pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Introduction and post-screening discussion with Irv Drasnin, co-producer, writer, interviewer, and narrator of The Revolutionary.

Special programming in conjunction with this screening:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
4:00pm lecture and discussion with Irv Drasnin
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

The Revolutionary

Description:
During China's Cultural Revolution, one of the most destructive and least understood political upheavals of the 20th century, Chairman Mao's call to "make revolution" was answered by tens of millions of Chinese and one American. The Revolutionary is a feature-length documentary about the Maoist Era and Sidney Rittenberg, an American who assumed an unprecedented role for a foreigner in Chinese politics. In those catastrophic times, Mao's last stand to hold on to power and to his political legacy, Rittenberg's personal relationship with China's leaders brought him both prominence and a long stay in Beijing's Prison No. 1. It should be noted that these events of the Maoist Era have all but been removed from the PRC's official history, a reflection of what one contemporary Chinese writer has called "China's historical amnesia".

Irv Drasnin is a producer, writer, interviewer, and narrator of the Stourwater Pictures 2012 release THE REVOLUTIONARY, which features the story of Sidney Rittenburg, the only American citizen to be admitted to the Chinese Communist Party under Mao’s rule. Irv's career in documentary filmmaking and broadcast journalism includes thirty-five years at CBS News and Public Television with extensive experience in China. His thirty documentaries include MISUNDERSTANDING CHINA (1972), SHANGHAI (1974), LOOKING FOR MAO (1983), and CHINA AFTER TIANANMEN (1992). Among his many awards for outstanding documentary film are the DuPont-Columbia Award (twice), the Director’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild (twice), the American Film and Video Festival (twice) and Christopher awards (twice). Mr. Drasnin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard in East Asian Studies with a specialization in China and taught the documentary film program at Stanford (1980-82). He also was a founding member of The China Council of the Asia Society and its co-chairman (1981-83).

Resources:
Distributed by Stourwater Pictures
Filmmaker website: The Revolutionary
The Revolutionary Trailer

Reviews:
New York Times
Asian Educational Media Service


Spring 2014 AsiaLENS programming is co-sponsored by Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Asian American Cultural Center, East Asian Languages and Cultures, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, Media and Cinema Studies, and Department of English.

 

 

 

Last Updated December 6, 2013.

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