第12季芝城亞洲躍動電影節3月15日開鑼

網上欣賞來自香港、日本、台灣、南韓及中國等地最新電影

我算不上是個電影狂熱,只是對不同的故事敘述形式及媒體都很有興趣。以前在香港,每年都是香港國際電影節的座上客。在美國定居以後,由於長期居於市郊,加上要帶孩子,並沒有太多機會看非荷里活製作的電影,看香港電影更是難上加難。

在美國,較有規模及水準的國際電影節一般都在人口較多元化的大都會,如紐約、三藩市及洛杉機等。若果不是在這些大都會,想要看香港及其他亞洲地區的電影,實在不容易。

第12季芝城亞洲躍動電影節

我在芝加哥居住的時候,認識了一位來自香港並非常熱心的電影愛好者Sophia。她在2015年創立了每年兩季的亞洲躍動電影節,一方面讓芝加哥的觀眾有機會認識不同類型的亞洲電影,另一方面請來亞洲電影人到芝加哥面對面跟美國的電影人互相交流。

今年電影節踏入第6個年頭,也是陣容最頂盛的一年。本季(第12季)由3月15日至5月1日,分別以網上及露天電影院(drive-in theater)兩種形式播放33部來自10多個亞洲國家的電影,其中多部更是全美首影。由於版權問題,網上播放的電影只限美國觀眾(其中一部只限美國伊利諾州)。

文念中執導、紀錄許鞍華對電影的熱誠與貢獻的《好好拍電影》

當中我最期待的是文念中執導、紀錄許鞍華對電影的熱誠與貢獻的《好好拍電影》,以及來自蒙古、講述一家三口兩代完全不同的生活的《I, The Sunshine》。前者上星期才開始在香港上影,用好評如潮來形容實不為過;後者故事感人,加上蒙古的大漠風光,是一家大小一同觀看的好選擇。

網上播放的門票由$3至$10(美元)不等,其中有4部更是免費播影的(要預先登記)。有關電影節的電影資料及購票詳情,請參看電影節網站:https://www.asianpopupcinema.org/12overview

Your Enemy’s Enemy Is Not Necessarily Your Friend

I know it’s only days before the election, and whatever I say here probably won’t change anybody’s mind. Worse still, it will only attract trolls to my site. But this is something I feel strongly about, and I need to just spill it out.

First and foremost, to all my friends in Hong Kong and around the world who support Hongkongers’ fight against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), please know that I’m with you all the way. But I cannot agree with you in supporting Donald Trump–because he is a selfish, racist, misogynistic liar and a dictator-worshipper. He is not someone anyone can count on.

Trump could care less whether the people of Hong Kong suffer or not. He only cares about how he would look in front of his supporters. He does not do anything that is not beneficial to himself. Whatever he does, it always goes back to the question of “what’s in it for me.”

His “tough on China” stance is only a facade with no actual substance. It’s just optics. It’s smoke and mirrors. It is simply used to show his supporters how macho he is. Everything he did to “punish” China either yields to nothing, or ended up harming his own people. When he called the corona virus the Chinese virus, China did not suffer from it, but hundreds, if not thousands, of Asian Americans were faced with racist attacks of varying degrees, from verbal attacks to physical assaults. His trade war with China is costing a huge amount of taxpayer money and American farmers, businesses in the steel and manufacturing industries are all negatively impacted by it.

He does not support the freedom of speech. Anyone who says anything negative about him is “fake news.” Please tell me how he is any different from the CCP?

He supports police brutality in the name of “law and order.” He fails to publicly condone white supremacy groups, but instead, asked them to “stand down and stand by.” He admires dictators like Putin and Xi Jinping. With everything going on in Tibet and Xinjiang, he never condemned CCP for all the humanitarian crimes against minorities in China.

Kevin Yam made some very good points in his op-ed in Ming Pao, a major Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong, a couple of days ago. You can also read a summary of the piece in English on his Twitter posts. Unfortunately, as I expected, he was called a “friend of China” because of this.

But, friends, your enemy’s enemy is not necessarily your friend. Just because you and another person have the same enemy doesn’t mean the other person is someone you should support. It is a matter of principles. We should not support an evil monster just because we happen to hate the same bad guy.

Please think thrice before you declare you’re a Trump supporter, because when you support Trump, you’re also supporting lies, misogyny, racism, and a totalitarian regime.

Understanding Racism: a Book and Movie Recommendation

I’ll be the first to admit that I do not fully understand the deep-rooted racism in America, and how that negatively impacts not only the black community, but also all people of color. As Asians, we’ve been taught to work hard and keep our mouths shut. Our internalized anti-blackness taught us that the sufferings of black people were somehow their fault.

Growing up in Hong Kong, racism seemed like a problem so far from me. But over the last 17 years since I’ve lived in the U.S., I have slowly started to recognize the importance of learning about the history of racism. First of all, I’m married to a black man and we’re raising two brown, biracial kids. I have to know how racism is affecting the lives of the people I love most. But also, I realized it’s up to every single one of us, no matter what color of our skin is, to open our eyes to the injustices around us. It’s not enough to just say, “yeah, I know racism exists and I don’t condone it.” We all need to stand up and do something about it.

Below is a list of books and movies that I have read/watched and found very educational, and others that I plan to read/watch in the coming months (thanks to friends who have sent their recommendations my way). I hope this is helpful to my non-black friends. I’ll keep adding to this list as I find more.

Start reading some of these books. Recommend it to your book club. Read it with your children and/or your friends. Discuss it with them. These books should all be available at your local library. If not, request them. Or you can buy them from a black-owned bookstore (here’s a good list).

Books

       

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in The Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

       

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Unravelling the Model Minority: Listening to Asian American Youth by Stacey J. Lee

       

  • Yell-Oh Girls: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity, and Growing Up Asian American, edited by Vickie Nam
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • The Source of Self-regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations by Toni Morrison

       

  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
  • They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery
  • How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

       

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by [Patrisse Khan-Cullors, asha bandele, Angela Davis]    An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY Book 3) by [Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz]    The Making of Asian America: A History by [Erika Lee]

  • When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee

Movies and TV Shows

13th, directed by Ava DuVernay (available on Netflix)

13th (film).png

The title 13th refers to the thirteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which “abolished slavery throughout the United States and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.” This film features interviews with activists, academics, political figures, and other public figures, including Angela Davis, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates Jr., etc.

 

Asian American, a 5-part series from PBS

Asian Americans DVD

This documentary tells the epic story of Asian Americans in the last 150 years, and examines their journey in American history through the lens of racial politics and international relations. It is a bold departure from the stereotypical portrayal of Asian Americans as the model minority.

I’m Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck

I Am Not Your Negro.pngJames Baldwin was himself a well-known activist, and the inspiration behind this documentary, his unfinished manuscript Remember This House, was a collection of notes and letters which tells the lives and stories of his friends and leaders in the civil rights movement, including Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

When They See Us, directed by Ava DuVernay

When They See Us (TV Mini-Series 2019) - IMDb

I know, I know. It’s Ava again. I can’t help it. I’m her fan! Adapted from the real story of five young black men imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, this is a powerful miniseries from the award-winning director. I challenge you to not cry watching this movie. If you’re a parent, you’ll ache with all those parents in this movie.

 

 

If Beale Street Could Talk, directed by Barry Jenkins

If Beale Street Could Talk film.png

Based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name, the movie is a deeply moving story about love, race, and the struggle of the common people.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

Just Mercy Official Poster.jpg

I just watched dthis movie and would recommend everyone to do the same. The movie is based on the book of the same name, written by Bryan Stevenson, who’s the lawyer in the movie. If you want to see how race affects the judicial systems in American, and how people of color and people from poor communities are hurt by the criminal justice system, watch this movie please.

 

 

 

    TheHouseILiveIn poster.jpg    3 12 Minutes, 10 Bullets poster.jpg

  • White Savior: Racism in the American Church, directed by Aaron J. Christopher
  • The House I Live In, directed by Eugene Jarecki
  • 3 1/2 Minutes Ten Bullets, directed by Marc Silver