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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 the Spurlock Museum -- 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 2013. The Spurlock Museum is located at 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL.

Second "encore" screenings of AsiaLENS films are held the following night at The Urbana Free Library.

Full schedule for Spring 2013 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

 


AsiaLENS Spring 2013 Calendar:

Seoul Train
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL

Bön: Mustang To Menri
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana IL

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL

Witnesses to a Secret War
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL



Seoul Train
Directed by Jim Butterworth, Aaron Lubarsky and Lisa Sleeth.
2005. 54 minutes.
In Korean, Mandarin Chinese, English and Polish with English subtitles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Encore Screening:
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 7:00 pm
(encore screening)
Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL

Introduction and discussion by Dohye Kim (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, UI).

Seoul Train

Description:
Through the combination of vérité footage, personal stories and interviews, Seoul Train is a riveting exposé into the life and death of North Koreans who attempt escape from their homeland and China via a secretive “underground railroad.” In this film we meet the activists on the front line, learn of the risks they take for their refugees and for themselves, and see firsthand the toll their work takes on them. We also hear from the Chinese Government, who articulates its country’s claims as to why the North Koreans are not refugees; from the UNHCR as to why it has failed to save even one North Korean refugee; from Sen. Sam Brownback, who has publicly challenged both the PRC and UNHCR; and from other experts (academics and NGOs) on the crisis at hand.

Resources:
Official website: http://www.seoultrain.com/
Contains a complete information on the film and production, history of the crisis, a trailer, and how to purchase.

Seoul Train is also available at New Day Films.

Reviews:
New York Times
Wall Street Journal


Bön: Mustang To Menri
Produced by Andrea Heckman and Rose Gordon. Directed by Tad Fettig.
2011. 60 minutes.
In English.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 -7:00 pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Encore Screening:
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL

Introduction and discussion by Alexander L. Mayer (Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures and Religious Studies, UI).

Bon: Mustang to Menri

Description:
The preservation of Tibetan Bön culture is portrayed in this beautiful documentary interweaving daily life of the Menri Monastery in Northern India, rebuilt by the 33rd Abbot of Menri after the old monastery in Tibet was destroyed, and the story of Geshe Sonam Gurung, who journeyed as a young boy from the ancient kingdom of Mustang, Nepal to study at Menri and who has now returned home to share his teachings.

Bön: Mustang To Menri illustrates the interconnectedness of education, commitment to service and spiritual dedication. It communicates Bön's story and unique place in history while illuminating how and why the work that monks do is important to the modern world. It is a universal message, one that reveals how inspired individuals can overcome challenges and adversity to order to have a positive impact on the world while giving back to the people, places and traditions that nurtured them.

Resources:
Official website: Documentary Educational Resources
Contains a synopsis of the film, a preview, and purchasing information.



Witnesses to a Secret War
Directed by Deborah Dickson. 2009. 56 minutes.
In English and Hmong.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 7:00pm
Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium, 600 S. Gregory Street, Urbana, IL

Encore Screening:
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL

Introduction and discussion by May Kao Xiong (Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education).

Witnesses to a Secret War

Description:
With first-hand accounts by CIA supported Hmong soldiers who fought, survived, and fled Laos when the Communists took over in 1975, along with personal stories of Hmong refugees residing in the United States, Witnesses to a Secret War brings greater awareness to a relatively unknown piece of American history.

In the film we meet members of families who were among the first to immigrate to the US, such as Minnesota State Representative Cy Thao whose artwork revisits the struggle of his people, and refugee advocate KaYing Yang who works in Thailand to help Hmong refugees remaining there after 30 years. Through their voices, and those of other witnesses compelled to understand their past, a story of betrayal, loss and survival unfolds.

Resources:
Offical Website: Witnesses to a Secret War
Contains a trailer, filmmaker and character bios, press reviews, news and purchasing information.

Reviews:
Pop Matters


 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated February 21, 2013.

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