Documentary Film Series
Four thought-provoking and entertaining films spanning the diverse realities, histories, and cultures of Asia, with opportunities for reflection and conversation. Each film will be followed by a moderated discussion.
Sunday, February 6, 2:00 PMThe Spirit of Taiko
Japan/USA, 2005, 56 mins.
Trailer: The Spirit of Taiko chronicles the spread of Japanese taiko drumming in the United States over the past 40 years through the reflections and memories of several artists, both American and Japanese. It connects the history and the individual, the intellectual view and the passion of the art, as well as the future of the art form through the eyes and experiences of renowned musicians including taiko masters Seiichi Tanaka, Kinnara Taiko, Kenny Endo, and PJ Hirabayashi.
Sunday, February 13, 2:00 PM
Up the Yangtze
China/Canada, 2008, 93 mins.
In English and Mandarin with English subtitles
Trailer: China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and two million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze gives a human dimension to the wrenching changes facing not only an increasingly globalized China, but the world at large.
Smile Pinki - 2009 “Best Documentary Short” Academy Award winner
India, 2008, 40 mins.
Sunday, March 6, 2:00 PM
Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women
South Korea/U.S., 1999, 88 mins.
** RECOMMENDED FOR 11th GRADE AND UP. Contains spoken content that parents may find inappropriate for younger children.
There are some injustices that are too grave to comprehend – only through telling their stories can the victims of such atrocities begin to heal. Silence Broken is a powerful documentary about the thousands of Korean women forced into sexual servitude by the Japanese Imperial Military during World War II. Combining the testimony of former comfort women, now elderly women, who after 50 years of silence demand justice for the “crimes against humanity” committed against them along with contravening interviews of Japanese soldiers, recruiters, and contemporary scholars, filmmaker Dai-Sil Kim Gibson looks at the effects of war and the legacy of colonization by interviewing these extraordinary women who have decided to remind the world of a past that has often been sanitized and hidden from view.
All films will be screened at Winchester Thurston Upper School, 555 Morewood Avenue. Call with questions: 412-578-7523
The AsiaUnReeled film series is presented in partnership with Silk Screen, Confucius Institute, University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies, and the Winchester Thurston School.
All films are suitable for students 12 years and up.