Education About Asia: Online Archives

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Kuan-Yin Pilgrimage

BY CHÜN-FANG YÜ COLOR, DVD, 56:35 MINUTES, 2004 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS 61 W. 62ND STREET NEW YORK, NY 10023 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/ Kuan-yin (Guanyin), the Bodhisattva of compassion and savior in times of suffering, became one of the most widely worshipped deities throughout all of East Asia. Manifested in various incarnations ranging from a princely man to a white-robed woman to the Dalai Lama(s), Kuan-yin, literally “Observer of the Sounds [of the suffering],” respo...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

An Unusual Journey: Afghanistan Unveiled

Many innocent civilians were killed in the war against the Taliban in early 2001. The world soon forgot about these victims as more wars broke out elsewhere. Afghanistan Unveiled is a documentary in the form of a road movie. It visits, in turn, the cave-dwellers of Bamyan—mostly women and children left behind after the men were slaughtered—who have only enough food to keep alive, the Kuchi nomads, also in poverty and feeling devastated, the warm and hospitable Badakshan mountain people, and ...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan

DIRECTED BY PETER LOM COLOR, 51 MINUTES, 2004 FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS 32 COURT STREET, 21ST FLOOR BROOKLYN, NY 11201 www.frif.com Kyrgyz society, like societies in all the emerging states in former Soviet Central Asia, is struggling with the clash of “traditional” values and modernization. The tradition of ala kachuu, or bride kidnapping, has received a considerable amount of attention by both Western and Kyrgyz scholars in recent years. Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan opens this co...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Confucian Film? Food, Family, and Loneliness in Ozu’s Tokyo Story

DIRECTED BY YASUJIRO OZU SCREENPLAY BY: KOGO NODA AND YASUJIRO OZU BLACK & WHITE, DVD, 136 MINUTES, 1953 THE CRITERION COLLECTION: www.criterionco.com In classic Hollywood films, food is mostly left out or coded as ethnic, as in Italian gangster films. In postwar Chinese and Japanese film, food often moves the plot, explores relationships, reveals character, or expresses moral and ethical values. (note 1) Why? Let’s test an idea: how people conceptualize their lives is shaped by inh...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Ripples of Change: Japanese Women’s Search for Self

PRODUCED, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY NANAKO KURIHARA COLOR, 16 MM/VHS, 57 MINUTES, 1993 IN ENGLISH AND SUBTITLED JAPANESE WOMEN MAKE MOVIES, INC. 462 BROADWAY, SUITE 500W NEW YORK, NY 10013 http://www.wmm.com/ Viewing films about Asian social movements helps students recognize early indicators of emerging issues, and assists them to understand how relatively weak social forces can stimulate change against powerful resistance. As the movement against the Vietnam War challenged authority in Ja...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Nobody Knows

DIRECTED BY KORE-EDA HIROKAZU COLOR, DVD, 139 MINUTES, 2004 JAPANESE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES DISTRIBUTED BY SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT http://www.sonypictures.com/ A number of Japanese films position their protagonist children or youth in terms of their relationship to school, functioning happily, struggling miserably, or escaping either violently or fantastically.1 This is natural considering the extensive time Japanese children spend at school or study. A few films, like the Kita...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Two Essays on Japan’s Peace Constitution: The Constitution of Japan

Editor’s Note: Japan’s 1947 Constitution, imposed upon the country by US Occupation authorities, has never been amended. Currently, fierce political debate is occurring over the question of whether to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, the famous Renunciation of War section of the document. The full text of the article is as follows: Article 9 1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the n...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Two Essays on Japan’s Peace Constitution: Japan’s Peace Constitution

John Junkerman wears his political heart on his sleeve. Opposed to any revision of Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, Junkerman has asked twelve distinguished commentators as well as some ordinary civilians from the United States, Japan, Korea, China, and the Arab world to discuss, while being videotaped, why they think the 1947 constitution of Japan should remain intact. To counter “realist” positions that rearmament is necessary, long-established scholars such as John Dower, Chalmers Joh...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Dam/Age A Film with Arundhati Roy

 COLOR, 50 MINUTES, 2002, CLOSED-CAPTIONED FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS 32 COURT STREET, 21ST FLOOR BROOKLYN, NY 11201 www.frif.com This documentary, accessible to students from upper-level high school to college, is direct and compelling, and layered in such a way that it poses questions that linger long after the credits roll. Its primary focus is Arundhati Roy, the graciously articulate author from southern India whose principled and daring stands on behalf of social justice have provoked...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Of Cold War and Political Orthodoxy: From the Masses to the Masses

Documentary Film Explores Tension Between Art and Politics in Mao’s China FROM THE MASSES TO THE MASSES: AN ARTIST IN MAO’S CHINA PRODUCER: ERIC HYER, BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY DIRECTOR: DODGE BILLINGSLEY, COMBAT FILMS AND RESEARCH PRODUCED BY: COMBAT FILMS AND RESEARCH FOR BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, DAVID M. KENNEDY CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, “BEYOND THE BORDER SERIES” COLOR, DVD, 56:45 MINUTES, 2005 COMBAT FILMS & RESEARCH 455 EAST 400 SOUTH SUITE 205 SALT LAKE CITY, ...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Blending with Nature: Classical Chinese Gardens in the Suzhou Style

Written, directed, produced by Raymond W. Olson 2003. 53 Minutes. VHS. Color. Distributed by Sacred Mountain Productions 17404 SE 17th Way, Vancouver, WA 98683 Phone: 866-597-6800 E-mail: brolson@pacifier.com Web site: www.sacred-mountain.com Students usually react skeptically—or with puzzlement—when I point out that traditional Chinese scholars sought to be Confucian in the daytime and Daoist in the evening. The idea strikes them as contradictory. After seeing Blending with Natur...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Hidden India: The Kerala Spicelands

Direction, editing, and music by Jan Thompson Written and hosted by Bruce Kraig Produced by Food for Thought Productions 2002. 60 Minutes. VHS. Color. Distributed by PBS Home Video 1320 Braddock Place Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 800-752-9727 Web site: www.shop.pbs.org Hidden India: The Kerala Spicelands is a colorful, vibrant presentation of many aspects of culture in Kerala, a state located on India’s southwest coast. Described by its producers as an introduction to the “culi...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Sadhus: India’s Holy Men

(3 films) The Rolling Saint (52 min.) The Living God (52 min.) Living with the Dead (52 min.) 1995. VHS. Color. A Bedi Films/Denis Whyte Films Production for BBC TV Produced by Denis Whyte Canal Plus, Premiere; Multicultural Programmes Department, BBC http://www.bediji.com/filmographysocll.html How would your students respond to dramatic images of a man who, after standing in place for seven years, rolls his body 2,500 miles through busy streets, over rough roads, and up mountains ...

AEMS Film Review Section

Kutiyattam: Sanskrit Theater of India (A CD-ROM)

By Farley Richmond Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002. Web site: www.press.umich.edu Phone: 800-621-2736 This multimedia, interactive CD-ROM is a visually rich and appealing survey of the ancient South Indian theater of kutiyattam, associated with temples and religious ritual since the tenth century CE Special temple servant castes produce the dance-story performances that are considered to be visual sacrifices to the temple deity. The main musical instruments are a special kin...

AEMS Film Review Section

Women in Japan: Memories of the Past, Dreams of the Future

English version—Joanne Hershfield/Jan Bardsley 2001. 52:25 Minutes. VHS/DVD. Color. Web site: http://womeninjapan.com Inquiries: orders@womeninjapan.com The stereotype of the Asian woman as subservient, selfless, and obedient to her husband has dominated Western thinking for over 150 years. The video, Women in Japan: Memories of the Past, Dreams of the Future, presents quite a different version of the modern woman in Japan. Award-winning filmmaker Joanne Hershfield, Professor of Film and...

AEMS Film Review Section

From the Far East to the Old West: Chinese & Japanese Settlers in Montana

Directed by Kathy Witkowsky Produced by Pat Murdo 1999. 28 Minutes. Commissioned and Distributed by The Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs (MCPA) 1401 New York Avenue NW, Suite 740 Washington, DC 20005-2102 Phone: 202-347–1994, Fax: 202-347-3941 E-mail:mcpadc@mcpa.org Web site: www.mansfieldfdn.org The Chinese and Japanese immigrants who settled in Montana were pioneers in every sense of the word, according to the documentary From the Far East to the Old West. The film provides an of...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

A Voice from Heaven: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Directed by Guiseppe Asaro Produced by Guiseppe Asaro, Alessandro Storza, Shafiq Saddiqui, and Vikas Bhushan, MD 2001. DVD. Color. 75 minutes. Distributed by Winstar Home Entertainment Web site: http://dvds.ontheweb.com Crossmedia Communications 419 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 A Voice from Heaven is a music documentary that provides a glimpse into the life of famed qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan along with information about the music of qawwali and the Sufi mystic traditio...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

The Sound of the Violin at My Lai

Directed by Tran Van Thuy Produced by the Central Documentary and Scientific Film Studio, Hanoi ”Best Short,“ 1999 Asian Pacific Film Festival, Bangkok 1998. 32 Minutes. VHS. Color. Distributed by The Video Project P.O. Box 411376, San Francisco, CA 94141-1376 Phone: 415-241-2514 or 800-4-PLANET FAX: 415-241-2511 E-mail: video@videoproject.net Web site: www.videoproject.net The Sound of the Violin at My Lai, winner of “Best Short” at the 1999 Asian Pacific Film Festival in Bangko...

AEMS Film Review Section, Essay, Resources

Bringing Sight and Sound to the Classroom: The Asian Education Media Service

Few people will deny the power of media to bring far away places and events to life. Audiovisual media can be a vital supplement to printed material, not simply describing but showing everyday life in a distant country, putting a human face on wars and famines, and bringing music, dance and theater into the classroom. Most educators are aware that documentaries, slides, CD ROMS, and Internet sites about Asia exist, but few are aware of the breadth of subject matter available or how to find and c...

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