News and Reviews
Educating About Asia Through Film    

September 2010    
Issue: #34    

In This Issue
Film Review: Journey of a Red Fridge
Film Review: To Tell the Truth: The Liu Binyan Story
AsiaLENS Series
Asian Film Festival 2010
About AEMS

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red fridge / Liu Binyan


Welcome to the new AEMS News and Reviews E- Newsletter.  AEMS mission is to promote the understanding of Asian culture and society through media.  In each new issue, you will see film reviews, details about upcoming screenings and events, and useful information relating to films about and from Asia.  You will find a more detailed description of AEMS programs and services on our website at  The AEMS staff - Susan Norris, Jason Finkelman and myself - welcome you to visit our website and live chat with us.  We invite your suggestions and questions. Please e-mail us at

Nancy Jervis
Program Director
Asian Educational Media service (AEMS)
Red FridgeJourney of a Red Fridge
Directed by Lucian Muntean and Natasa Stankovic. 2007.  52 minutes.
In Nepali with English subtitles
Reviewed by Mary Arends-Keunning
In Journey of a Red Fridge, we are introduced to the plight of child porters in Nepal.  This type of child laborer is extremely common, yet working as a porter is considered to be one of the worst types of work; the average load weighs over 100 lbs. and carrying such heavy loads over a prolonged period of time often leads to health issues. According to the movie, there are 60,000 child porters in Nepal with only 25 percent in school.  The film provides an intimate view and raises many interesting questions about child labor, but does not offer answers about how to eradicate it.

To Tell the Truth:The Liu Binyan Story
Directed by Meggie Miao. 2006. 59 minutes. In English and Chinese, with English subtitles and voice over
Reviewed by John A. Rapp

Suffering the pain of exile and the fate of ultimate irrelevance is perhaps a minor tragedy for those brave men and women who dare to challenge those in power.   For every Andrei Sakharov and Vaclav Havel who used their international prestige to challenge authoritarian rule directly and who have reaped well-deserved honors and rewards once those regimes were overthrown, there are many other, equally brave if less well-known individuals who labor within the margins of official ideology, trying to open a space for loyal criticism of the regime. 

1428AsiaLENS Documentary Film Series

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 films on issues reflecting contemporary life in Asia.

AsiaLENS Fall 2010 Calendar:

Journey of a Red Fridge
Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 7:00 pm
Discussion led by Ritu Saksena (Associate Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, UI)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 7:00 pm
Discussion led by Kevin Lee (Vice President of Programming and Education, dGenerate Films)

Unmistaken Child
Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 7:00 pm

Burma VJ
December 7, 2010, 7:00 pm

Unmistaken Child Asian Film Festival 2010:
Visualizing Tibet
November 2-7

Documentary and feature films from Chinese, Tibetan and the American directors portray Tibetan history, culture, and a way of life that may be the last frontier of an ever-encroaching global "civilization."  The festival starts on November 2 with the AsiaLENS screening of The Unmistaken Child  followed by Martin Scorcese's Kundun at The Art Theater on Thursday, November 4th.  All other events take place at the Spurlock Museum on the University of Illinois campus.

Check our website for updates (coming soon).
About AEMS
Media Production Group
In addition to hosting film screenings, AEMS also produces and distributes its own materials under the brand name Media Production Group (MPG) .  These are short educational videos and DVDs about an aspect of Asian culture suitable for classroom use and accompanied by curriculum.  MPG titles. 

AEMS maintains a searchable database of over 6,000 films about Asia, including length, format, distributor and synopsis.  search the database

AEMS library, through its connection to the Lincoln Trails library system, circulates videos and DVDs locally from its collection of more than 2,000.  view


Asian Educational Media Service
805 W Pennsylvania Ave., Urbana, IL 61801