Media Database Search
advanced search | only AEMS collection >


AsiaLENS
AEMS Documentary and Independent Film Series
at the Spurlock Museum

All AsiaLENS screenings are FREE and open to the public.

The Spurlock Museum is located at 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL.

Select screenings will be introduced by a local scholar who will also lead a post-screening discussion. This series is a collaboration between AEMS and the Spurlock Museum. Check full schedule details on this webpage.


Information on past screenings: Fall 2008
, Spring 2009, Fall 2009


AsiaLENS Spring 2010 Calendar:

Special Screening:
Woman of the Southern Wind

January 21, 2010
7:00 pm
Studio Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Up the Yangtze
February 2, 2010
7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum

My Daughter the Terrorist
March 2, 2010
7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum

The Betrayal
April 6, 2010
7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum

Can't Go Native?
May 4, 2010
7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum


Special Screening:

Woman of the Southern Wind
Thursday, January 21, 2010, 7:00 pm
Krannert Center, Studio Theatre

By Mei-Juin Chen, 2007, 53 minutes.
In Taiwanese (Hokklo) and Mandarin with English Subtitles.

Discussion led by Esther Kim Lee (Associate Professor, Department of Theatre, UI).

This special AsiaLENS screening is one of the engagement activities surrounding the performance of A Chinese Home by Kronos Quartet with Wu Man at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on January 28, 2010.

Woman of the Southern Wind

Description:

Woman of the Southern Wind, is a film about Taiwanese performance artist Mei-O Chen's creative revival of the endangered nanguan musical tradition. In combining the choreography of the Pear Orchard theater tradition, another endangered but unrelated traditional Chinese art form, Mei-O Chen has created a modern, contemporized style of nanguan. Although the film is essentially a biography, it opens up controversies around the tensions between tradition and innovation.

Woman of the Southern Wind will be shown Thursday, January 21st at 7:00pm in the Krannert Center's Studio Theater. Admission is free.

Resources:

Official website http://www.lotusfilms.org/woman.htm/ contains a synopsis of the film, filmmaker biography, an image gallery, and how to order the film.

Official website: KrannertCenter.com


Up the Yangtze
Tuesday, February 2, 2010, 7:00 pm

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

Up The Yangtze, by Yung Chang, 2008, 93 minutes.
In Chinese and English with English subtitles.

Discussion led by Nancy Jervis (Program Coordinator, Asian Educational Media Service, UI).

Description:

A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze - navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as "the river." See it while you can. The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. At the river's edge - a young woman says goodbye to her family as the floodwaters rise towards their small homestead.

The Three Gorges Dam - contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle - provides the epic backdrop for Up the Yangtze, a dramatic feature documentary on life inside the 21st century Chinese dream. Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang crafts a moving depiction of peasant life, a powerful narrative of contemporary China, and a disquieting glimpse into a future that awaits us all.

Resources:

Official website http://www.uptheyangtze.com/ has trailiers, information on the film, and the filmmakers.

Review:

Up The Yangtze was reviewed by Darrin Magee in the Fall 2009 online only issue of AEMS News and Reviews (PDF download)


My Daughter the Terrorist
Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 7:00 pm

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

My Daughter The Terrorist, by Beate Arnestad, 2007, 58 minutes.
In Tamil with English subtitles.

Discussion led by Ritu Saksena (Associate Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, UI).

Description:

This fascinating documentary is an exceedingly rare, inside look at an organization that most of the world has blacklisted as a terrorist group. Made by the first foreign film crew to be given access to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of Sri Lanka, the film offers important insights into the recently re-ignited conflict in Sri Lanka.

Twenty-four-year-olds Dharsika and Puhalchudar have been living and fighting side-by-side for seven years as part of LTTE’s elite force, the Black Tigers. Their story is told through cinema verité footage, newsreel footage, and interviews with the women and Dharsika’s mother. The women describe heartbreaking traumas they both experienced at the hands of the Sri Lankan army, which led them to join the guerrilla forces. As they discuss their readiness to become suicide bombers and their abiding loyalty to the unnamed “Leader” – who they are sure would never harm civilians – grisly images of past LTTE suicide bombings provide somber counterpoints. Their curiously flat affects raise the possibility that they have been brainwashed. This even-handed documentary sheds light on the reasons that the Tamil Tigers continue their bloody struggle for independence while questioning their tactics.

Resources:

Visit United States distributor Women Make Movies for information, related links and to purchase the film.

Official website: Snitt Film Production

 


The Betrayal
Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 7:00 pm

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

The Betrayal, by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath, 2008, 96 minutes.

Discussion led by Fiona I. B. Ngô (Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies, UI).

Description:

The collateral impact of America’s secret war in Laos is reflected in the extraordinary story of one family’s struggle for survival – in Laos and later in the U.S. Filmed over the course of 23 years, The Betrayal is the directorial debut of famed cinematographer Ellen Kuras in collaboration with the film’s subject and co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath.

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. clandestinely operated in the neighboring country of Laos. By 1973 a secret air campaign had dropped more bombs on Laos than were used during WWI and WWII combined. Recruited by the CIA to work intelligence along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Thavisouk’s father is exposed after America’s retreat and is imprisoned by the ruling Communist government. The entire family comes under suspicion and their mother is forced to raise Thavi and his nine younger siblings alone. At the age thirteen, Thavi escapes across the Mekong River to Thailand, and is joined two years later by his mother and seven of his siblings. After living in a refugee camp the family seeks asylum in America, and is soon deposited in a crowded tenement in Brooklyn. Left to their own means by the government, the family struggles to survive and stay together, pulled by two different cultures, terrorized by local gangs, and haunted by memories.

A lyrical melding of memoir, cinema verité and historical inquiry, The Betrayal is an exquisitely crafted tale of a country and a family torn asunder, and the long and painful process of repair.

Resources:

Official website www.thebetrayalmovie.com has information on the film, the filmmakers, trailer and more.

 


Can't Go Native?
Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 7:00 pm

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

Can't Go Native?, by David Plath, 2010, 56 minutes.

Discussion led by Keith Brown (Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh) and David Plath (Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, UI).

Special preshow performance by Jason Finkelman, composer for Can't Go Native?.

Can't Go Native

Description:

In 1961 as a graduate student in the University of Chicago, Keith Brown went to the Tohoku for dissertation research. Out of his total immersion in village life grew friendships and family-like bonds that have perdured for two generations. Keith has returned every year since 1961 to continue his field studies in that community. He and the people of Mizusawa-ku have grown older together for five decades. Is it research? friendship? or both at the same time?

Can’t Go Native? is a media portrait of Keith’s ongoing involvement in the evolution of a Japanese community. Handy as the internet is for capturing snapshots of activity we need extended fieldwork in order to apprehend those rhythms of human relations that anchor Japanese society in the tidal surges of global change. We present a Japanese case study that addresses the need for long term research as populations continue to age.

Resources:

Official website: http://cantgonative.com/

Last Updated March 23, 2010.

Search Our SiteSite MapEmail Us



footer_logo.gif



[ Overview | Events | AEMS Database | Publications | Local Media Library | MPG | Other Resources ]