New Asian Currents
• October 9–13 [Venues] Forum 3, 5
We give you this year’s New Asian Currents program—eighteen diamonds in the rough that boldly carve out new ways of expression, and two Special Invitation Films. Welcome to an unfettered Asia that transcends both time and place, where filmmakers’ passions and aspirations merge.
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Films
- Kawakami Koichi (JAPAN / Director of Photography, Professor of Japan Institute of the Moving Image)
- The Blossoming of Etsuko Kamiya Director: Kuroki Kazuo / Photography: Kawakami Koichi / 2006 / 111 min
- A School of My Own Director: Gargi Sen / 2009 / 33 min
Beyond Monarchs and Merchants Director: Gargi Sen / 2002 / 56 min
- The Copper Village
- NEPAL / 2015 / 90 min
Directors: Dipesh Kharel, Frode Storaas
At a village in western Nepal where copper mines had operated for 400 years, former workers and local residents gather to reenact the vanishing practice of mining and smelting. The film captures village life and its festivities through the eyes of a visual anthropologist.
- JAPAN / 2015 / 80 min
Director: Okamoto Mana
When her family comes together for the first time in a while for her brother’s wedding, the director is given an opportunity to reflect on her family’s past—seen in footage from home videos taken at a happier time, and present—in which as a result of divorce her father, mother and grandmother, older brother and his wife, live apart from each other. This is the first film by the director, who is a resident of the Hokkaido city of Hakodate.
- Foolish Steps of a Fat Cow
- BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, SINGAPORE, GERMANY / 2015 / 20 min
Director: Ghazi Alqudcy
What’s behind the sense of guilt that prompts the director to go to Berlin? Leaving the foreign land of Sarajevo, he confronts the uneasiness in the depths of his soul as he replays the past over and over again in his mind. As with ARAGANE, this director too studies film in a program under Tarr Béla.
- Anak Araw
- THE PHILIPPINES, USA / 2013 / 64 min
Director: Gym Lumbera
A Filipino boy who believes he is the son of an American attempts to learn the language of America from a dictionary. Filmed in black and white, Anak Araw is a fantastical tale of the adventures of a “sun child.”
- Glittering Hands
- KOREA / 2014 / 80 min
Director: Lee-Kil Bora
In sign language, the director’s deaf parents expressively tell of their youth, their love, and the trials of raising their children. These memories overlap with those of their hearing children who have tales of their own experiences growing up. The film portrays one family’s struggles, successes, and losses in a world both silent and not.
- CHINA, GERMANY / 2015 / 78 min
Director: Jin Xingzheng
As a result of the Chinese government’s one-child policy, an increasing number of schools are being forced to shut down. Harsh truths emerge from the stories of daily life in a mountain school in central Zheijang Province where student numbers continue to dwindle, and from the struggles of villagers living amid depopulation.
- I Am Yet to See Delhi
- BANGLADESH, INDIA / 2014 / 19 min
Director: Humaira Bilkis
In Delhi to study film, “I” listens for the breath of its residents on the streets, in the markets, outside the mosques, and at the tourist sites. Dissolving into these her own thoughts and feelings in the process, she makes the city resonate for us.
- Standing Men
- FRANCE, LEBANON / 2015 / 55 min
Director: Maya Abdul-Malak
At a shop on a Paris street corner, Arabic-speaking men are often overheard engaging in friendly conversation. The sentiments shared in this gathering place for immigrant men resonate with letters the director’s father wrote to his family in Lebanon years ago, and the nostalgia they bring makes it feel as though time has stopped.
- Look Love (special version)
- CHINA / 2015 / 176 min
Director: Ye Yun
The lives of a father and son living in Hunan Province, and a mother and her daughter, who attends a boarding school in Beijing. The director’s lens draws close to the family’s confusion as they try and fail to communicate their affection for one another, eliciting the expression of thoughts ordinarily left unspoken.
- Millets Back Home
- TAIWAN / 2013 / 72 min
Director: Sayun Simung
An old Tayal woman grows millet on tribal land as her people have done for generations. The vibrant portrayal of the everyday lives of villagers who, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and fields, are trying to protect traditions that are quickly fading away, is a testament to the director’s respect for her village, and her people.
- My No-Mercy Home
- KOREA / 2013 / 75 min
Dolphin approaches the director, saying she wants to share her story of being sexually abused by her father when she was in junior high school. Hoping to prevent her younger sister from suffering the same fate, she brings a lawsuit against her father despite objections from her mother and relatives.
- O, Persecuted
- UK, PALESTINE / 2014 / 12 min
Director: Basma Alsharif
Bombers flying over Palestine, PFLP soldiers, civilians taking cover in shelters; through footage from a 1974 film by Kassem Hawal, the oppressed confront their occupiers. Her film we began by measuring distance was screened at YIDFF 2011 (New Asian Currents).
- BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JAPAN / 2015 / 68 min
Director: Oda Kaori
Miners in a Bosnian coal mine. The camera silently watches over the miners working tirelessly amidst endless noise and the flickering light of lanterns. The director, who studies film in a graduate program under Tarr Béla, follows the miners with her undivided attention.
- The Seventh Wish
- INDIA / 2014 / 27 min
Director: Varun Trikha
Women who talk, dance, cry, and love together. The desires woven into classical Urdu poetry and spirits carrying historical memories offer clues in a search for the contemporary version of a women’s space sung of in those old poems.
- A Report about Mina
- IRAN / 2014 / 54 min
Director: Kaveh Mazaheri
Mina who lives in a corner of a park in Tehran, pays no mind to the hustle and bustle of the New Year’s celebrations. The film gives us a glimpse into fourteen days of her life as she plays with dogs, exchanges banter with other homeless people in search of drugs and cigarettes, and sleeps next to piles of garbage.
- SINGAPORE, PORTUGAL / 2014 / 105 min
Director: Daniel Hui
In 2066, a man is given footage of Singapore in 2014. The personal stories of people who lived through that time are interspersed with the remnants of this land’s history of oppression and resistance. Afterimages come to life that extend beyond time and space.
- When the Boat Comes In
- MYANMAR, GERMANY / 2014 / 30 min
Director: Khin Maung Kyaw
Despite hardships, there’s a laidback tone to life in a fishing village in Myanmar, where residents make a living processing the fish and shrimp they catch. Things change, however, when the government issues a one-month fishing ban.
- Each Story
- INDIA, JAPAN / 2014 / 40 min
Director: Okuma Katsuya
For their summer homework, Jigmet and Stanzin are assigned to study the Epic of King Gesar, passed down from generation to generation in the northern Indian region of Ladakh, where the boys live. As they splash in the river and run through the streets, the boys come to understand each story shared with them by the adults of their village. His film Gift was screened at YIDFF 2011 (New Asian Currents).
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Films
- Almost a Revolution
- HONG KONG / 2015 / 174 min
Directors: Kwok Tat Chun, Kong King Chu
Partly through the urging of professor Benny Tai in 2013, the people of Hong Kong launch a civil disobedience campaign demanding democratic elections. The film faithfully documents the movement from its inception, through the eyes of seven activists in the so-called Umbrella Revolution.
- Sunflower Occupation
- TAIWAN / 2014 / 120 min
Directors: Sunflower Occupation Documentary Project
On March 18, 2014, students stormed the Taiwanese legislature in protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, and occupied it for the next 24 days. Numerous independent filmmakers participated in this film, capturing the event from a multitude of perspectives. The result is a comprehensive look at what took place.