New Asian Currents
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Film
A diverse Asian diaspora searching for horizon, navigates through turbulent waters like a sailor. These 24 works are filled with the love and vision of their makers, who take a flexible approach to their layered identities. This program discovers and supports Asian filmmakers whose works exude a luminous glow despite their rough edges, as they continue to bravely engage with new forms of expression.
Venues: Forum 3, 5
- All Restrictions End
- IRAN / 2009 / Persian / Color, B&W / Video / 35 min
Director: Reza Haeri
Cinematic essay on the politics of fashion and gender representation in modern Iran. A collage of paintings, photographs, old films and news footage so intricately woven, the director himself becomes a tailor.
- The Shepherd’s Story / Shinjuku 2009 + Ogaki 2010
- JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color / Video / 42 min
Directors: Maeda Shinjiro, Suzuki Hikaru
A shepherd who lets his sheep graze in the “plains” of the city, a sheep separated from its flock, a taxi driver, a hair salon. . . . Following a set score, the urban landscapes of Shinjuku and Ogaki are performed.
- IRAN, KOREA, CANADA / 2010 / Persian, Turkish, Russian / Color, B&W / Video / 120 min
Director: Shahin Parhami
Amin is a young musician who carries on the musical traditions of the nomadic Qashqai tribe of Iran. Returning home from his studies in Kiev, he performs in a personal musical journey, as he watches his culture fades before his eyes.
- FRANCE, IRAN, SWITZERLAND / 2009 / Persian / Color / 35mm / 114 min
Director: Mehran Tamadon
An attempt to converse frankly with members of the Bassidji, the extreme supporters of the Islamic State. With their guidance, the director travels to the capital from the “sacred land,” where countless soldiers lost their lives in the Iran-Iraq war.
- A Brief History of Memory
- THAILAND / 2010 / Thai / B&W / Video / 14 min
Director: Chulayarnnon Siriphol
A mother tells of her son, killed in a Bangkok riot. Her crippling loss and sadness, which stir in the bottom of her heart become abstract images and are intertwined with monochrome alleyways and the space of life.
- Self-Portrait with Three Women
- CHINA / 2010 / Chinese / Color / Video / 75 min
Director: Zhang Mengqi
While lashing out against her mother and grandmother, with whom she lives, the director tries at dialogue. Looking for men or perhaps true love, the 23 year-old university graduate uses her broken heart as a spring, and her body to shout with all her might.
- Children of Soleil
- JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color / Video / 107 min
Director: Okutani Yoichiro
In Tokyo, at the mouth of the Tama River, a man lives on a ship while repairing motorboats. With dogs at his side, he occasionally turns and talks to the camera. The camera stares back at him fixedly, as the director commits himself in the acts of watching and listening.
- JAPAN / 2011 / Japanese / Color, B&W / Video / 40 min
Director: Okuma Katsuya
The young Yosuke falls for the lies of Kame-chan, an old man who lives in a park. An Amerasian man watches over them both. Set on the stage of a changing Naha, the Okinawan capital, an attempt to dismantle this tale’s fiction unfolds.
- We’ve never seen a night which has finished by reaching a day
- FRANCE, KOREA / 2010 / Korean, French / Color / Video / 41 min
Director: Lee Ju-hyoung
A novel about a prostitute in the Algerian War is presented in parallel to testimonies from the former “comfort women” of the Japanese military. Both resonate in darkness. Memories of colonialism are etched in the space between the aged women and the intimate director’s camera.
- Hard Rails across a Gentle River
- VIETNAM / 2010 / Vietnamese / Color / Video / 45 min
Directors: Tran Thanh Hien, Pham Thu Hang, Do Van Hoang, Tran Thi Anh Phuong
Four directors encounter people carrying on about their lives on and around a Hanoi rail bridge. A woman selling flowers on the street, men bathing, a gathering of boys and girls, couples. The lives of ordinary people are vividly drawn.
- Yuguo and His Mother
- CHINA / 2011 / Chinese / Color / Video / 49 min
Director: Gu Tao
In the snowy Aoluguya Forest of northeast Inner Mongolia, Yuguo cares for his mother who expresses her love with all her body and soul. The son who lives away returns home, and the camera gently watches over their short time spent together.
- A Trip to the Barbershop
- DENMARK, LEBANON / 2010 / Arabic, English, Danish / Color, B&W / Video / 23 min
Director: Selim Mourad
Text messages to a boyfriend in Roanne, everyday conversation with parents in Beirut, the life in Copenhagen. A love letter painted with isolation of living in a foreign land and the intimate time spent together with the director’s loved ones.
- Iranian Cookbook
- IRAN / 2010 / Persian / Color / Video / 72 min
Director: Mohammad Shirvani
A small universe unfolds in the kitchen as the director’s family and relatives prepare a meal. In the scent of spices, the crackle of stir-fry and the texture of tenderized meat, a glimpse of Iranian society is shared.
- Thatched Cottages on the Enclave
- CHINA / 2010 / Chinese / Color / Video / 55 min
Director: Meng Xiaowei
A mountain village in the Gansu Province of China, a town created over twenty years ago by migrants. The forests have disappeared. An indifferent camera captures the lives of those who worry about their town’s end, exposing the everyday vitality of these villagers.
- My Own City
- INDIA / 2011 / Hindi / Color / Video / 67 min
Director: Sameera Jain
The gendered looks of metropolitan Delhi become a camera eye, sketching the everyday life of a female driver exposed to the male gaze. The experience of women who live in this city is embodied in a mirage like images constructed by the director.
- On the Way to the Sea
- CANADA, CHINA / 2010 / Chinese / B&W / Video / 20 min
Director: Gu Tao
The director visits his aged parents, victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake who have moved frequently since. In a collage of a son who lives far away, voices and images from the disaster, heavy machinery and old photographs, personal memories are burnt into 8mm film.
- Unreal Forest
- THAILAND, THE NETHERLANDS / 2010 / Nyanja, English, Thai / Color, B&W / Video / 70 min
Director: Jakrawal Nilthamrong
A mystic tale of shaman and son, set in an “African forest” and shot by a Zambian director. A Thai director fuses the production structure with a fiction film, brilliantly tying Asia to Africa and Europe.
- Prison and Paradise
- INDONESIA / 2010 / Indonesian / Color, B&W / Video / 93 min
Director: Daniel Rudi Haryanto
The director joins a reporter who covered the October 2002 Bali bombings, and attended the same Islamic school as one of the perpetrators. Together they ponder the families of victims and assailants, exchange words with perpetrators behind bars and confront fundamentalism.
- The Red Rain on the Equator
- MALAYSIA, TAIWAN / 2010 / Chinese / Color / Video / 132 min
Director: Nova Goh
The director learns about his relatives’ past in a letter from his mother. Former guerrilla fighters who fought for revolution in Malaysia speak in front of the camera. Calling forth images of their training and the stage of a history of colonialism, the director investigates the identity of ethnic Chinese in Borneo Island.
- Water Hands
- SINGAPORE, SERBIA, MONTENEGRO / 2010 / Cantonese, Mandarin, Serbian / Color, B&W / Video / 93 min
Director: Vladimir Todorovic
A letter from a sailor to “her” is answered with a request to return “home.” In an intimate look, the folk tales of a village, the bustle of a city and dreams overflowing with reality drift, ferried on waves between Singapore and the Balkans.
- we began by measuring distance
- PALESTINE, EGYPT / 2009 / Arabic / Color / Video / 19 min
Director: Basma Alsharif
Rome to Geneva, Gaza to Jerusalem, both measured distances. Layers of rich sound and text are intertwined, while images that carry continuity soon bring us toward the fables of Palestine.
- The Woman, the Orphan, and the Tiger
- KOREA, DENMARK, USA , CHINA / 2010 / English, Danish, Korean / Color, B&W / Video / 76 min
Directors: Jane Jin Kaisen, Guston Sondin-Kung
Former “comfort women” of the Japanese military, female sex workers for the American soldiers stationed in Korea and the many children adopted by Americans and Europeans since the Korean War. A theoretical approach to tie together the broken points of these women’s lives.
- World without Shadow
- MALAYSIA / 2011 / Malay / Color / Video / 90 min
Director: Khoo Eng Yow
In the Malaysian state of Kelantan, tossed about by politics, the shadow play of Wayang Kulit traces a steady decline. Using the framework of the play and operating in the space between politics and art, the director follows the lives of artists who carry on this tradition despite all odds.
- KOREA / 2010 / Korean / Color / Video / 73 min
Director: Mun Jeong-hyun
In January 2009, in the midst of forced evictions brought with the redevelopment of the Yongsan district of Seoul, five people died in a fire caused by a conflict with police. Memories of these victims of military rule and democratization movements, as well as those they left behind, untie a history of people’s movements.
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Film
- Aoluguya, Aoluguya . . .
- CHINA / 2007 / Video / 81 min
Director: Gu Tao
A work preceding Gu Tao’s Yuguo and His Mother. A tale that unfolds in the Aolugya Forest in Inner Mongolia, featuring such unique characters as a mother who dulls her sadness over the absence of her son Yuguo with alcohol, her younger brother, and Maria, the tribal chieftain who watches over them.