News and Reviews
Educating About Asia Through Film    

October 2010    
Issue: #35    

In This Issue
Film Review: 1428
Special Event: Independent Chinese Film Lecture
Film Review: Shipbreakers
AsiaLENS Series
Asian Film Festival 2010
Online Film: Kindergarten
About AEMS

Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
shipbreakers & 1428

Directed by Haibin Du. 2009.  117 minutes.
In Mandarin with English subtitles
Reviewed by France Pepper
Du Haibin's documentary about the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake that struck at 2:28 PM (14:28) on May 12, 2008, captures the perspective of local people and how they coped with reconstructing their lives. The film begins with an English subtitle which translates a slogan on the side of a truck "Unite Our Strength for Rescue Efforts Against the Earthquake,"  Illustrating one of Du's underlying themes throughout his film: the presence of government and propaganda in contrast to the reality of the situation. Premier Wen Jiabao's arrival on the scene in the county town of Beichuan, the epicenter of the earthquake, sparks criticism from locals from other towns, as does the government in general and its handling of the situation. Paralleling their anger and frustration is the attempt by the survivors to make sense of the disaster that has transformed their lives.

Chinese Cinema
from the Fifth Generation to the d-Generation

Kevin Lee, Vice President of Programming and Education of dGenerate Films, will present a special illustrated lecture on the history and current state of independent film making in China. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 3:30 pm

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

Illinois Public Media interviewed Kevin Lee, about the 1428 and Chinese independent cinema. The full interview can be heard at Illinois Public Media's website.

dGenerate Films Website
Directed by Michael Kot. 2004. 42 minutes.
In English.
Reviewed by Ritu Saksena

The very first frames establish the location of the film - dust, smoke and haze blur the skyline of Alang in Gujarat, India and with the flames of blow torches, and small fires burning everywhere, the ambience of a graveyard is all pervasive.  Known as the biggest shipyard in the world with 10 km of oily shoreline, and 40,000 workers exposed every day to toxins, waste, asbestos and more, the similarities could not be more obvious.  On average, one worker a day dies here. Ironically, the workers also refer to the place as a kasai-ghat or butcher yard where ships come to die so people can survive. 

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:

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

Asian Film Fest 2010 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.  Admission is FREE for all screenings.

Check our website here for full details.

Film Festival Schedule
All films screened at The Spurlock Museum
(unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, November 2
7:00pm - Unmistaken Child (Nati Baratz, 2008, 102 min)

Thursday, November 4 (Art Theater, Champaign, IL)
7:30pm - Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997, 135 min)

Friday, November 5
7:00pm - Summer Pasture (Lynn True and Nelson Walker, 2010, 86 min)
9:15pm - Serfs(Nongnu)( Li Jun, 1963, 88 min)

Saturday, November 6
1:00pm - Milarepa (Neten Chokling, 2006, 90 min)
3:15pm - Tantric Yogi (Chenaktsang Dorje Tsering, 2005, 50 min)
7:00pm - The Search (Pema Tseden, 2009, 112 min)
9:20pm - Song of Tibet (Xie Fei, 2000, 95 min)

Sunday, November 7
1:00pm - The Search (Pema Tseden, 2009, 112 min)
3:15pm - Milarepa (Neten Chokling, 2006, 90 min)

LinkTV Screening of Kindergarten

Kindergarten, directed by Zhang Yiqing (2010, 75 minutes), follows a group of very young students at a boarding preschool through a full year of living and learning together, from the first day for the youngest children to graduation for the oldest class.  The filmmaker artfully explores childhood and education issues through the dialog and interaction among students ages 2 - 7 and their teachers. 

A broadcast schedule is on LinkTV's web page for Kindergarten, at, and the film is available to stream online. 

For availability for classroom use and DVD sales, please contact Martha Foster at Living Earth Television NFP at or 847-217-7988.

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