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Asian Studies


Asian Studies



CHINA STORIES II

In the last few decades, China has been experiencing tremendous changes in her economy, society and infrastructure. Her leaders dream about revival of the Chinese race: domestically, they want to lead nationals out of poverty towards a reasonable standard of living; internationally, they want to propel the realization of an economic corridor, via both land and sea, and draft a blueprint for a rising power. Leaders have dreams, but what do their subjects dream about?

Each episode of "China Stories" shows audience around in China by presenting them with the stories of some characters, as well as some images, in the hope that they may understand what the present-day Chinese think, do, and care about.

1. The vanishing shadow
2. The invisible citizens
3. The Rise of Online Celebrities in Mainland
4. Guangxi íP 1968
5. Building a Utopia
6. Speedy Home Coming
7. The last animal tamer
8. Blind Soccer
9. Human-Elephant Conflict
10. Invisible Wings


10 DVDs / 2016 / 300 minutes

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LIFE APPS: MOBILE HARVEST

Directed by Arjun Pandey

In India can Sachin build a Life App to help stem the tide of farmer suicides?

Sachin Gaur is an award-winning software engineer and world-class expert in mobile security. In 2010 he cofounded the technology collective MixOrg, which aims to develop apps to help people at the bottom of the pyramid -- people like the many millions of India's poor farmers whose lives are often blighted by multiple problems.

LIFE follow Sachin as he heads off to Andhra Pradesh to meet farmers and hear first-hand about the major obstacles they face in their lives -- from changing weather patterns and unreliable rainfall, to rising costs of seeds and fertilizers. With a firm grasp of some of their real-life problems, he's ready to start working on a "Life App" to help spread farmers' ideas.


DVD / 2013 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 27 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.


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

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TOKYO WAKA: A CITY POEM

Directed by John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson

A poem about a city, its people, and 20,000 crows.

Tokyo is a digital metropolis and wellspring of spectacular pop culture, its commercial crossroads carpeted with people day and night. Above them, watching from perches on buildings and power lines, are more than 20,000 crows. As their numbers soared in recent years, Tokyo fought back: trapping them, destroying nests, and securing trash. The crows adapted; they are among the smartest of animals. The 13 million people of Tokyo now live alongside them in a stalemate.

TOKYO WAKA tells this story, and a larger one as well. A Buddhist priest comments on garbage as the remnants of desire; a gardener considers the relentless persistence of nature amidst urban grit; a homeless woman talks about forging community in her tent village deep in the corner of a city park. TOKYO WAKA gives these smart, opportunistic crows their due, but the film is ultimately an episodic and discursive poem about the life and culture of Tokyo, one of the great cities of the world.


DVD (Japanese with English Subtitles) / 2012 / (Grades 7-9, College, Adult) / 63 minutes

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BITTER SEEDS

Directed by Micha X. Peled

The final film in Micha X. Peled's Globalization Trilogy examines the epidemic of suicides amongst India's cotton farmers, deeply in debt after switching to genetically modified seeds.

As industrial agriculture spreads around the world, many small-scale farmers are losing their land. Nowhere is the situation more desperate than in India, where every 30 minutes one farmer, deep in debt and unable to provide for his family, commits suicide. It's an epidemic, which has claimed over a quarter million lives.

Following a U.S. complaint to the World Trade Organization, India had to open its doors to foreign seed companies like the U.S.-based Monsanto. Now only genetically modified (GM) seeds for some major crops are available at the seed shops. The GM seeds are much more expensive; in addition to precious water, they need additional fertilizers and insecticides and must be re-purchased every season. Large farms have prospered, but the majority of farmers are now struggling to make a living off their land.

Ram Krishna, a cotton farmer at the epicenter of the suicide crisis region, is struggling to keep his land. Manjusha, the neighbors' daughter, is determined to overcome village traditions and become a journalist. Ram Krishna's plight becomes her first assignment.

BITTER SEEDS raises critical questions about the human cost of genetically modified agriculture and the future of how we grow things.


DVD / 2011 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 88 minutes

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LIFE 6: NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG GIRLS?

Directed by Nupur Basu

A young Indian woman has to choose-stay with a husband who doesn't want female children, or make it on her own.

Twenty-seven year old Vyjanthi lives in the Indian city of Agra, in the shadow of the Taj Mahal built in honor of a beautiful woman. Already mother to one three-year old girl, when she became pregnant again her husband and in-laws forced her to have a scan to determine the sex of the foetus. Told she was carrying a girl, they tried to pressure her to have an abortion, and after a major argument she fled to her parents' home. But she felt bad, went back to her husband, got pregnant again, and the same thing happened all over again.

Now she's living with her parents, with two young daughters-and undecided whether she can make it on her own, or will have to go back to her husband again. Sex-selective abortion is illegal in India, but so widespread that there are many more boys than girls, especially in India's more prosperous states. Vyjanthi wants to know if things are really as bad for girls in the rest of India as in her own neighborhood. Isn't India now one of the world's booming economies, thanks to its embrace of globalization?

Life takes Vyjanthi on a journey through India, and films as she makes a disturbing discovery. Just because a country's becoming richer, doesn't actually mean life's going to be better for most people. In fact the status of women in India is falling behind that of women in many other countries, even in South Asia, and the newly prosperous middle class are particularly likely to abort female foetuses.

Will Vyjanthi decide that India can offer her and her daughters a fair and prosperous future on their own? Or will she decide that India is no country for young girls, and go back to her husband?


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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LIFE 6: THE PRINCE

A young Pakistani landowner chooses between trying to implement the MDGs in the village that his family owns, and a quiet life.

In Pakistan, a feudal prince's family has been making life hell for local villagers for centuries. Rafeh Malik is a young feudal prince who inherited Ratrian, a village in Northern Punjab, on his 18th birthday. Prince Rafeh had a friend from the city: Dawn TV journalist Shehryrar Mufti. And one day Shehryar told him: "Look, man, people just don't buy your act anymore. You can't make out you own these folks." It was apparently a dramatic moment of conversion. The prince claims he now realizes his land-owning caste has been living in the past.

Mufti has told him about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the prince says he's inspired to try and introduce them to his village. But in the process, he risks alienating his family and even the conservative villagers themselves. After all, they all live close to the edge of the troubled North West Frontier and don't necessarily want what the West calls "development."

Will the villagers accept the prince's offer? Will his family stop him? And how genuine was his conversion? In the face of self-doubt, selfishness and conservatism, will he decide to go on?


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2008 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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KABUL TRANSIT

A street-level documentary that explores the soul of a city devastated by nearly three decades of war.

In the broken cityscape of Kabul, Afghanistan, amid the dust and rubble of war, Westerners and Afghans adjust to the uncertain possibilities of peace. Kabul Transit shuttles through the broken streets of the city, moving between public space and private, listening in on conversations, posing questions, probing the darker alleys mainstream media avoids. The result is a unique cinematic experience-a shifting mosaic of encounters and raconteurs, captured glances and telling gestures, all beautifully shot and woven together by the music and the found sounds of a city sluggishly coming to life. Rejecting the usual device of narration and portraiture, the film asks the viewer to experience Kabul as a newly arrived visitor would-with a freshness born of apprehension on finding oneself in a place that is at once hauntingly strange and altogether familiar.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned, With English & Spanish Subtitles) / 2006 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 84 minutes

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LIFE 5: KILL OR CURE?

Directed by Reena Mohan

India's $4.5 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that serves the world's poor is at a crossroads.

The recent history of drug patents in India has had a significant impact on world health. For over fifteen years, India has been largely self-sufficient as a manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. Poor families benefited from India's historic 1970 Drug Patent Law, which granted patents on the process rather than the product. Low costs means it's also been a major supplier in producing affordable drugs for the rest of the developing world, especially Africa and Asia.

Now, India's $4.5 billion pharmaceutical industry is at a crossroads following a new law introduced there in January 2005. TRIPS (Trade- Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) is an agreement drawn up by the World Trade Organization between 1986 and 1994 to ensure intellectual property rights are respected within international trade. The government says that despite the new law, they are committed to supplying drugs at an affordable price. But those actually working in the health system have doubts.


DVD (Color) / 2005 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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LIFE 5: TROUBLE IN PARADISE

Directed by Emily Marlow

Local inhabitants of the Maldives wait for promised tsunami aid.

Clustered into 26 atolls, three hundred and fifty thousand people live on the small scattered islands in the Indian Ocean known as the Maldives, spread over an archipelago stretching nine hundred kilometers from North to South. The Maldives are viewed as a paradise on earth, but their existence is threatened by rising sea levels and violent storms. They were badly damaged by the Tsunami of 2004, with 83 lives lost and a 50% drop in tourists.

The rebuilding has started but the distances between islands are huge, greatly slowing the efforts of the British Red Cross and other agencies. After one year, some 800 had been repaired, with over 2,000 still needing to be completely rebuilt. In 2006, five new island resorts are due to open and it's predicted that tourism in the Maldives will reach an all time high. Only time will tell what the long-term social and political impact of the Tsunami will be on the Maldives.


DVD (Color) / 2005 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 24 minutes

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LIFE 4: HELPING OURSELVES!

In India, two community projects help people move out of poverty and gain control of their lives.

Over the last 25 years India has cut absolute poverty by half. Still 440 million people live on less than a dollar a day. This Life program looks at two projects that are helping Indian communities move out of poverty-in line with the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015-and that have succeeded in giving previously powerless people some control over their lives. In Karnataka, the IT revolution has allowed farmers to access land deeds vital to obtaining credit with which they can sow next year's harvest. In Andhra Pradesh, women's self-help groups have enabled rural women to change aspects of their lives, and given them a voice in local government.


DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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LIFE 4: LISTEN TO THE KIDS!

A UNICEF initiative involves children in decisions that affect their own futures, their families and communities.

One in five of the world's population is aged between 12 and 18. In developing countries, where the percentage is much higher, children and young people often carry a huge burden of responsibility yet rarely are their views taken into account. This Life program reports on a Unicef initiative to involve children in decisions that affect their own futures, their families and communities.

From post-conflict Sri Lanka to the back-streets of New Delhi children are campaigning to be heard: street children forming the Children's Council in New Delhi, a teenage photographer campaigning for girls to be able to stay in school in Bangladesh, a sixteen year-old fighting discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers in Nepal.


DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 25 minutes

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LIFE 4: REACHING OUT TO THE GRASSROOTS

Education and community-driven development combat poverty in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Shilmundi is a village in the vast Delta in the south of Bangladesh. The children here attend a local school, and come together to study after hours, a sign of their enthusiasm for learning. But the real question is how long they'll be able to continue. This program looks at two very different approaches to improving the lives of poor people -- one through education, as in the Shilmundi project in Bangladesh, the other through what's known as "community-driven development" in Indonesia.

Life asks whether projects like these can be replicated in other countries trying to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals of halving the number of people living in poverty by 2015.


DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 26 minutes

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LIFE 4: REEL TO REAL - HOLDING OUR GROUND

International efforts to assure reproductive health and rights conflict with cultural realities in the Philippines, Latvia, Japan, and India.

Holding Our Ground focuses on one of the most contested of the agreements hammered out in Cairo: reproductive rights. The right of both women and men to decide freely if and when to get married, and if, when and how often to have children, was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over 50 years ago. But 10 years after the Cairo agreement, it's still far from universally acknowledged. The program features reports from: the Philippines, now at the epicenter of the battle over efforts to restrict information on, and access to, family planning; Latvia, where taboos surrounding the subject of sex still hamper efforts to provide information for adolescents; Japan, where the falling birthrate is focusing attention again on the problems of childcare for working women; and finally India, where-despite laws designed to protect the girl child-the practice of female infanticide, and its horrendous repercussions, appears to be growing. Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, describes why reproductive health and rights are critical for development worldwide.


DVD (Color) / 2004 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 23 minutes

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AFTER SILENCE: CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Examines the treatment of Japanese- Americans during WW II, and its relevance to post 9/11 America.

This film poses the question "What does it mean to be an American in a time of uncertainty and fear?" The subject area is the fragile nature of civil rights, and it explores the Japanese- American internment through the lens of 9/11.

As a child, Dr. Frank Kitamoto and his family lived on Bainbridge Island, WA, where the U.S. government first ordered Japanese- Americans to register, and leave their homes, and then interned them in detention camps-a panic-stricken reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. For decades, the Japanese- American community rarely spoke of the disturbing experience of their exclusion and incarceration.

In AFTER SILENCE the past comes alive as Frank-who spent 3 ? years of his childhood in a United States internment camp during WWII-and five students from his island community develop archival photographic prints in the high school darkroom. Together, Frank and the students discuss the need to safeguard the constitutional rights of those living in the United StatesíKespecially in times of crisis.


DVD (Color) / 2003 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

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DROWNED OUT: WE CAN'T WISH THEM AWAY

An Indian family chooses to stay at home and drown rather than make way for the Narmada Dam.

Resettlement site or stay at home and drown.

The people of Jalsindhi in central India must make a decision fast. In the next few weeks, their village will disappear underwater as the giant Narmada Dam fills.

Bestselling author Arundhati Roy joins the fight against the dam and asks the difficult questions. Will the water go to poor farmers or to rich industrialists? What happened to the 16 million people displaced by fifty years of dam building? Why should I care?

DROWNED OUT follows the Jalsindhi villagers through hunger strikes, rallies, police brutality and a six-year Supreme Court case. It stays with them as the dam fills and the river starts to rise...


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2002 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 75 minutes

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FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE, THE

An international group of veterans builds a village in Vietnam for children with Agent Orange-related deformities.

THE FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE is a documentary film about an international group of veterans who are building a village in Vietnam for children with Agent Orange-related deformities.

Built on a former rice paddy near Hanoi, the Vietnam Village of Friendship stands not only as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, but as a testament to the potential for all people to come to terms with the past, heal the wounds of war, and create a better world.

Following the story of the village's founder, American veteran George Mizo, THE FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE takes us through his experiences of war's horror to the personal transformation that led to the birth of this remarkable village. Working alongside the Vietnamese general responsible for killing his entire platoon in 1968, George and other veterans from the US, Vietnam, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain and Australia are attempting to mitigate the ongoing effects of the toxic herbicide sprayed during the war. Their efforts are a powerful example of how average people can still make a profound difference in our increasingly globalized world. As such, the Vietnam Friendship Village has the potential to change not only the lives of the children who live in it and the men who build it, but all who come to understand its vision.


DVD (Color, Closed Captioned) / 2002 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 51 minutes

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LIFE 3: IT TAKES A VILLAGE

A cyclone in Bangladesh results in the construction of an experimental community health center.

In 1991 a devastating cyclone struck the district of Chakaria in western Bangladesh. Foreign aid flooded into the region in the wake of that disaster, bringing much needed food, drugs, and other supplies. But in what is still a very conservative Muslim region, the very same aid bred dependency and mistrust.

What was needed in Chakaria was a real experiment in community participation, one in which the villagers could decide what kind of health services were necessary, and then take it upon themselves to facilitate those services. With this in mind, community doctor Moazzem Houssain from the International Centre of Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR.B) took up residence in Chakaria to work with the villagers on the construction of the district's first-ever health center.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE tells the story of the experiment: the obstacles the project had to overcome, the successes it has achieved, and the role that community health care provision can play in the framework of a national health care strategy.

With the support of the World Health Organization; the European Commission Directorate General for Development to promote better understanding of development issues; the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).


DVD (Color) / 2002 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 23 minutes

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CITY LIFE: MY HANOI

Tour of rapidly urbanizing Hanoi, and the effect on citizens and culture.

Hanoi is one the new global cities of the 21st century--a burgeoning center of international trade and tourism, in competition with other fast growing cities of South East Asia and the south China region. Growing urbanization has led to a boom in construction: market reform and globalization have caused an influx of Western consumer goods.

My Hanoi is the story of Tran Thuy Linh, whose family has lived in the flower village area of Hanoi for generations, but now must move. Thuy describes the extended family she grew up with in the flower village, and charts the stories of their lives against the backdrop of the changing skyline of the city -- old people, young people, politicians, housewives, and the migrant day laborers who work on the construction sites.

Seen through Thuy's eyes, the program profiles a city in a period of dramatic change -- emerging from colonialism and the still painful memory of the Vietnam War, through socialism to the current free market era where a younger generation is asserting itself as a force for change.


DVD (Color) / 2001 / (Grades 7-12, College, Adult) / 27 minutes

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TRIUMPH OVER TERROR: SMILES - THE HYPOCRISY OF THAI POLITICS

The struggle for greater democracy and free speech in Thailand.

Tourist companies idealize Thailand as a land of gentle, smiling people and stunning landscapes. But rapid industrialization, the growing consumer culture of the 1980s 'bubble economy' era, and the effect of IMF structural adjustment programs imposed in 1997 when that bubble burst, have led to a huge rise in poverty, crime, and environmental damage. The Thai government has responded by introducing a new constitution, designed to eliminate the corruption and cronyism that has been at the heart of Thai politics for decades. This film reveals the hypocrisy of Thai politics and charts the history of recent struggles for greater democracy and freedom of speech.


DVD (Color) / 1999 / (Grades 9-12, College, Adult) / 30 minutes

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INSIDE BURMA: LAND OF FEAR

Directed by David Munro

John Pilger investigates the history and brutality of the military dictatorship in Burma.

INSIDE BURMA exposes the history and brutality of one of the world's most repressive regimes. Nearly the size of Texas, with a population of more than 40 million, Burma has rich natural resources probably unequaled in Asia. Yet Burma is also a secret country.

Isolated for the past 40 years, since a brutal military dictatorship seized power in Rangoon, this rich country has been relegated to one of the world's poorest, the assault on its people all but forgotten by the rest of the world.

Award-winning filmmakers John Pilger and David Munro go undercover to expose how the former British colony is ruled by a harsh, bloody and uncompromising military regime.

More than a million people have been forced from their homes and untold thousands killed, tortured and subjected to slavery.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of the assassinated independence leader Aung San, spent 6 years under house arrest. In 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy, won 82 percent of the parliamentary seats. The generals, shocked by an election result they never expected, threw 200 of the newly-elected MPs into prison. Suu Kyi's party has never been allowed to take elected office.

She warns that, far from liberalizing life in Burma, foreign investment and tourism can further entrench the military regime.


DVD / 1996 / (Grades 10-12, College, Adult) / 51 minutes

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