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Asian Studies (Weekly New Titles)


Asian Studies (Weekly New Titles)



INDIA'S DAUGHTER

By Leslee Udwin

INDIA'S DAUGHTER is the powerful story of the 2012, brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus of a 23 year old medical student, who later died from her injuries. In 2012, it made international headlines and ignited protests by women in India and around the world. This month India's government banned the film while the BBC moved their planned broadcast up by days and ignited a new controversy. BAFTA winning filmmaker Leslee Udwin, herself a victim of rape, went to India inspired by the protests against sexual assault. With an all Indian crew, Udwin got exclusive, first time on camera interviews with the rapists and defense attorney, none of whom express remorse. The defense attorney goes even further, stating that "immodest" women deserve what happens to them. An impassioned plea for change, INDIA'S DAUGHTER pays tribute to a remarkable and inspiring young woman and explores the compelling human stories behind the incident and the political ramifications throughout India. But beyond India, the film lays bare the way in which societies and their patriarchal values have spawned such acts of violence globally.

Reviews
  • "This film does what the politicians should be doing... this documentary's determination to shed light on the country's rape crisis should inspire change." - The Guardian

  • "India's Daughter is a necessary watch - not just for women of India but for women across the world." - The Independent

  • "Ms. Udwin's film has increased worldwide awareness of attitudes that beget sexual violence against women." - The New York Times

    DVD (Color, Hindi) / 2015 / 62 minutes

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    LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101

    By Julianna Brannum

    LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101 from Comanche filmmaker Julianna Brannum, chronicles the life of Comanche activist and national civil rights leader LaDonna Harris and the role that she has played in Native and mainstream America history since the 1960s. In this new verite style documentary, Brannum, the great niece of Harris, celebrates her life and the personal struggles that led her to become a voice for Native people and her contemporary work to strengthen and rebuild indigenous communities and train emerging Native leaders around the world.

    Harris's activism began in Oklahoma, fighting segregation and assisting grassroots Native and women's groups. In Washington LaDonna introduced landmark programs and legislation returning territory to tribes, improving education and healthcare for Native Americans, ending job discrimination against women, and targeting other pressing issues of the time. For over three decades, "Indian 101," her course for legislators, combatted ignorance about America's most marginalized population. Using interviews, archival footage and photographs, this film justly celebrates one of the most important women leaders in Native American and U.S. history.

    Reviews
  • "LADONNA HARRIS: INDIAN 101...explore(s) Harris' achievements, the personal struggles that led her to become a voice for Native people, and her contemporary work to reshape Indian Country in America and abroad." - DeadCenter Film Festival, Oklahoma

  • "Comanche activist LaDonna Harris...led an extensive life of Native political and social activism, and is now passing on her traditional cultural and leadership values to a new generation of emerging Indigenous leaders." - Austin Film Society

    DVD (Color) / 2014 / 63 minutes

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    PEASANT FAMILY HAPPINESS

    By Jenny Chio

    Tourism in China today signifies many things. To the Chinese government, tourism is a win-win opportunity to promote rural development and modernization and to encourage urban residents to flex their disposable incomes through domestic travel. To tourists - past, present, and future - it is the epitome of middle-class leisure, proof that the country has moved beyond the hardships of the past and toward a prosperous future. And to those who live in the sites that are visited, tourism is a means to an end, a chance to earn a living by turning one's home into a destination.

    In the words of Dr. Stevan Harrell, Prof. of Anthropology at the Univ. of Washington, "This colorful, entertaining, gently ironic documentary presents a vivid and sensitive portrait of a side of China that is little known outside the country: the world of ethnic tourism. In recent years, hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists, mostly city-dwellers, have used their newly increased incomes to travel. And many of the places they visit are ethnic minority villages in China's West and Southwest. They go there for the culture, for the scenery, for the clean air, for something different to see and do."

    Peasant Family Happiness depicts the everyday experience of "doing tourism" in two rural ethnic tourism villages in contemporary China: Ping'an in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Upper Jidao in Guizhou Province. In these villages, residents negotiate between the day-to-day consequences of tourist arrivals and idealized projections of who they are. Questions of "authenticity" are rendered secondary to, yet not entirely subsumed by, market imperatives.

    Culture and identity remain important for sustaining community, but in ways that reveal just how much labor goes into creating leisure experiences. What really matters to the villagers of Ping'an and Upper Jidao are the bigger, more pressing questions confronting modern rural communities across the globe: the possibilities brought about by improved transport networks, the promises and perils of leaving one's home to be a migrant worker elsewhere, and the pleasures of imagining one's own future through the lens of successful, profitable tourism.

    Peasant Family Happiness was produced as part of a larger anthropological research project on tourism and rural development in China today. Various scenes, a rough cut, and the final film were screened in both Ping'an and Upper Jidao villages on multiple occasions.

    With its "deft and intimate camera work," its stunning visuals of spectacular rural landscapes, and its "insightful, vivid, and intelligently humorous" paradoxes and ironies, Peasant Family Happiness will thoroughly engage students and stimulate reflection and discussion in a wide range of courses in cultural anthropology, China and East Asia, development issues, ethnicity and identity, and tourism.


    DVD (Color) / 2013 / 70 minutes

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    WITHOUT SHEPHERDS

    Directed by Cary McClelland, Imran Babur (Co-Director)

    Six bold Pakistanis from very different walks of life attempt to build a new future while struggling with their country's current crisis.

    Six bold people navigate the dangerous waters of Pakistan's current crisis to discover a new tomorrow: a cricket star starts a progressive political party, a female journalist goes behind Taliban lines, an ex-mujahid seeks redemption, a trucker crosses dangerous territory to feed his family, a supermodel pushes feminism through fashion, and a subversive Sufi rocker uses music to heal.

    Filmed by a team of Americans and Pakistanis over two years, WITHOUT SHEPHERDS cuts through alarmist media depictions of the country to celebrate the bravery of its people.

    Reviews
  • "Shatters many stereotypes people hold about Pakistan as the land that harbors terrorism." - Shaista E. Khilji, Professor, International Affairs, George Washington University

  • "Without Shepherds is one of the most visually impressive and insightful docs in recent memory. The film simply and effectively shatters stereotypes about Pakistan, revealing diversity of thought and hope for the future." - Hammer To Nail

    "A thoughtful portrait into the lives of some of this troubled country's citizens, who despite their differences of class and ideology, share a longing for a better way of life." - Filmmaker Magazine

    Award
  • Grand Chameleon, Best Documentary Brooklyn Film Festival

    DVD / 2013 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adults) / 145 minutes

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    MADE IN INDIA: A FILM ABOUT SURROGACY

    By Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha

    In San Antonio, Lisa and Brian Switzer risk their savings with a Medical Tourism company promising them an affordable solution after seven years of infertility. Halfway around the world in Mumbai, 27-year-old Aasia Khan, mother of three, contracts with a fertility clinic to be implanted with the Texas couple's embryos. MADE IN INDIA, about real people involved in international surrogacy, follows the Switzers and Aasia through every stage of the process.

    With its dual focus, this emotionally charged, thoroughly absorbing film charts obstacles faced by the Switzers and presents intimate insights into Aasia's circumstances and motivation. As their stories become increasingly intertwined, the bigger picture behind offshore outsourcing of pregnanciesˇXa booming, unregulated reproductive industry valued at $450 million in India aloneˇXbegins to emerge. So do revealing questions about international surrogacy's legal and ethical implications, global corporate practices, human and reproductive rights, and commodification of the body.

    Reviews
  • "[A]n extraordinary film ... akin to a psychological thriller, inspiring both the family and the viewer to question their moral and ethical scruples, and to wonder whether they could do the same.... A touching and important document." - Woodstock Film Festival

  • "This perspective on international surrogacy is a common one but also an overly simplified one, and MADE IN INDIA delves into the complexities... It exposes the glitches in the system as communication breaks down..., yet it also looks at the joy that both parties get from creating a family together." - Real Screen

    DVD (English, Hindi, Color) / 2010 / 97 minutes

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    WHY DEMOCRACY? PLEASE VOTE FOR ME

    Directed by Weijun Chen

    An experiment in democracy is taking place in Wuhan, the most populous city in central China. For the first time ever, the students in grade three at Evergreen Primary School have been asked to elect a class monitor. Traditionally appointed by the teacher, the class monitor holds a powerful position, helping to control the students, keeping them on task and doling out punishment to those who disobey. The teacher has chosen three candidates: Luo Lei (a boy), the current class monitor; Cheng Cheng (a boy); and Xu Xiaofei (a girl). Each candidate is asked to choose two assistants to help with his or her campaign.

    To prove their worthiness, the candidates must perform in three events. First is a talent show, where each candidate plays an instrument or sings a song. Second is a debate, in which the candidates bring up the shortcomings of their opponents as well as their own personal qualifications. And finally, each candidate must deliver a speech, an opportunity to appeal directly to classmates and ask for their votes.

    At home, each of the children is coached by his or her parents and pushed to practice and memorize for each stage of the campaign. Although their parents are supportive, the candidates feel the pressure. Tears and the occasional angry outburst reveal the emotional impact. At school, the candidates talk to classmates one-on-one, making promises, planning tactics (including negative ones) and at times expressing doubts about their own candidacies.

    For all three children, the campaign takes its toll, especially for the losing candidates and their assistants. Viewers are left to decide if the experiment in democracy has been "successful" and what it might mean for democracy in China. Please Vote for Me challenges those committed to China's democratization to consider the feasibility of, and processes involved in, its implementation.

    Review
  • "This film should lead to much class discussion regarding ethics, campaigning and what it means to ask the question 'What is Democracy?' Recommended." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    Note
  • Nominated, Best International Feature Documentary, Cinema Eye Awards, 2008

    Awards
  • Winner, Sterling Feature Award, Silverdocs Film Festival, 2007
  • Working Films Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Educational documentary, DOCNZ, 2007
  • Special Jury Prize, Taiwan International Children's Film Festival, 2008
  • Best Documentary Award, Ashland Independent Film Fest, 2008
  • Best Documentary, Jackson Hole Film Festival, 2008

    DVD / 2007 / 52 minutes

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    KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 1: THE DYNAMIC CULTURE OF CONTEMPORARY KOREA

    The Dynamic Culture of Contemporary Korea (Volume 1) introduces various aspects of Korea's contemporary culture. It reveals the dynamism of Korean culture with scenes of samulnori, a form of traditional percussion music, Nanta, a high-energy non-verbal stage performance, and the frenzied "street cheering" during the 2002 World Cup. There are also highlights of the hallyu (Korean wave) phenomenon, which has led to the spread of Korean pop culture throughout Asia and beyond.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 2: THE CLOTHES, FOODS AND HOUSES OF KOREA

    The Clothes, Foods and Houses of Korea (Volume 2) is a general overview of the Korean ways of living. This includes a description of a traditional Korean house, hanok, and its noteworthy characteristics: ondol, underfloor heating system, maru, traditional wooden floor, and jeongwon, a Korean-style garden. In addition, it explains about the dietary practices of Koreans, like kimchi and soy-bean uses.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 3: THE LIFE OF KOREANS

    The Life of Koreans (Volume 3) provides information about the world of Korea's traditional customs and rituals, including, dol, a first-year birthday celebration, as well as practices related to the rite of passage, wedding, funeral, and memorial services in Korea.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    KOREAN ARTS & LIFESTYLE 4: THE BEAUTY OF TRADITIONAL KOREAN ARTS

    The Beauty of Traditional Korean Arts (Volume 4) explores various genres of traditional Korean art, including traditional fine arts, such as calligraphy, pottery, and landscape painting; traditional music forms like pansori and minyo, and musical instruments gayagum and geomungo; and Korean dance, such as salpuri (exorcist) and buchaechum (fan dance).

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    JAPAN: THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE - JAPANESE SOCIETY

    How social issues affect daily life in Japan.

    DVD / 1989 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 30 minutes

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    JAPAN: THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE - THE TASTE OF JAPAN

    This program about Japanese food and drink explores the bounty of the sea and mountains in Japan as a source for their nutrition.

    DVD / 1989 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 30 minutes

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    BANGKOK, THE DIVINE CITY

    A documentary history of the city of Bangkok from it's foundation at the end of the 18th century up to the last quarter of the twentieth.

    The film was shot in 1973 when Thailand was on the cusp of it's astounding development into the vibrant and astonishingly modern city it now is with skyscrapers and expressways on every hand. By showing glimpses of a time long gone the film is itself now a piece of history.

    With the founding of Bangkok came the founding of the remarkable Chakri dynasty of absolute kings who have led the country so ably through the complexities of the last two centuries; the film outlines some of their major contributions up to those of the present king. Still today the place of the now constitutional monarchy is kernel as the country struggles to establish its fragile democracy and the film goes some way to explain this. It also brings out the lives of ordinary people and some of the many distinctive elements of the Bangkok world.


    DVD / 40 minutes

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    CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 1 - THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

    The Democratic Viewpoint, Geography, The Dynasties, Confucius, China Today.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 2 - MATTERS OF THE MIND

    Superstition, Confucian Commentators, Taoism, Buddhism, Tibet, Sung Education.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 3 - HEART AND SOUL

    Bronzes, Ceramics, the Character Script, Poetry, Literature.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 4 - FROM HARMONY TO DISCORD

    Music, Gardens, Painting, Science, The Descent into Chaos.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    CHINA: IN THE SHADOW OF MR KONG PART 5 - THE ROUGH ROAD TO FREEDOM

    Japan, The End of the Empire, Communism, Overseas Chinese, the current Dilemma.

    DVD / 50 minutes

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    CONFUCIUS

    Confucius 551 -479bc

    Confucius was not exactly an author in the way that other writers in the series are. His ideas however, expressed in his Analects (reported sayings), have been the backbone of the Chinese psyche ever since he uttered them. He was very concerned that people should read history and poetry, with the result that the Chinese for most of their existence have been the most literate society on earth. The well-read man has always been considered at the pinnacle of society. This DVD tells what is known of his life and gives an introduction to his ideas and his importance in Chinese life. It is followed by an overview with leads to books he had a hand in, or that will help to understand him.


    DVD / 35 minutes

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    KING RAMA 6TH OF THAILAND

    RAMA 6th King of Siam

    The video follows the life of King Vajiravudh, Rama 6th of the Chakri dynasty of Siam, modern Thailand. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonised by a western power and King Vajiravudh was the first Thai king to have been educated in the west. In the eyes of the world rather overshadowed by his charismatic father King Chulalongkorn (best known to the world at large as the king in the musical the King and I) King Vajiravudh was an unusually talented and sensitive man who learned a great deal from his life in England and who committed himself to continuing the reform of his country begun by his father. Trying to be a democrat and a monarch with absolute power was a difficult act. He soon began appointing people on merit and not because they were his brothers or cousins. This was not the way to win the support of the ruling clique. However up to his sudden and unexpected death in 1926 he clung tenaciously to his beliefs and worked tirelessly and often very effectively for his country. The programme was made with the support of the Museum to his memory in Bangkok and is dedicated to the remarkable school he founded, Vajiravudh College.


    DVD / 50 minutes

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    NONDUK'S FINGER & THE ABDUCTION OF SITA

    The Khon - Two complete ballets

    Complete performances of the ballets Nonduk's Finger and The Abduction of Sita performed by artists and musicians from the College of Music and Dramatic arts in Chieng Mai Thailand, filmed and edited by Malcolm Hossick with subtitles and commentary in English.

    Nonduk's Finger (duration: 53') concerns the difficulties of Nonduk, gatekeeper to the great god Shiva, and how the help Shiva gives him turns against him. Revenge and retribution and the vagaries of power are the subject of this charming fantasy.

    In The Abduction of Sita (duration: 63') Lust and jealousy almost destroy the wonderful relationship between the noble god Rama and his beautiful wife Sita but with the help of the kindly and wily monkey god Hanuman, all is resolved.

    These two ballets display the charm and colour of the Classical Dance of Thailand known as the Khon. Mask, movement, gesture, song and music combine to give a strange but timeless parade of human weakness and virtue which reflect in a remarkable way the struggles of modern Thailand to come to terms with the demands of democracy and the weight of tradition.


    DVD / 119 minutes

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    RAMA & SITA

    The Khon - Documentary on Thai Classical Dance

    At the end of the 18th century Thailand was defeated by its arch enemy Burma and the capital Ayudhya destroyed. A new beginning was made further down river at Bangkok. Along with new palaces and temples the kings brought back the old forms of dance which had graced the court of Ayudhya. A Thai version of the Indian epic of the doings of King Rama called in Thailand the Ramakien was produced and through the preservation of the dance and the development of these stories, Thai culture was given a new treasure all its own.

    Modern times always view the past differently and the traditional arts in Thailand can be easily swamped and forgotten just as elsewherein the world. Fortunately there are still talented and devoted dancers and musicians and artists who keep it all alive and in the Academy ofMusic and Dance which thrives today in Chieng Mai film makerMalcolm Hossick has found a treasure to record for the outside world to see.

    This documentary film follows the training and development of young dancers and musicians along with parts of finished performances of two stories from the Ramakien.


    DVD / 50 minutes

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