Tag Archives: human rights

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

A film by Jennifer M. Kroot
91 minutes, color, USA, 2017
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: All Films, Art, Civil Rights, Film Studies, HIV/AIDS, Homepage, LGBT Studies, New Release, U.S. History, Urban Studies

Synopsis

THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN examines the life and work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot’s documentary about the creator of TALES OF THE CITY moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan) Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70’s San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.

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Awards

WINNER AUDIENCE AWARD
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Screenings

Revelation Film Festival
Outfest
Galway Film Fleadh
SouthSide Film Festival
Provincetown Film Society
Festival MIX Milano
Kansas City LGBT Film Festival
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema,
Berkshire International
TLVFest – The Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival
Out Film CT
Fire!! Mostra Internacional de Cinema Gai i Lesbià de Barcelona
FilmOut San Diego
Provincetown Film Society
Frameline
Festival MIX Milano
Kansas City LGBT Film Festival
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Berkshire International Film Festival
TLVFest – The Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival
Out Film CT
Fire!! Mostra Internacional de Cinema Gai i Lesbià de Barcelona
FilmOut San Diego
Provincetown Film Society
Frameline
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema,
Frameline
DOXA Documentary Film Festival (Vancouver)
QDoc Film Festival
Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
Montclair Film
American Essentials
NorthwestFest
Oxford Film Festival
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
QDoc Film Festival
Montclair Film
Inside Out LGBT Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
Louisiana International Film Festival
Calgary Underground Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
MiFo LGBT Film Festival
Martha’s Vineyard Film Society
The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival
QFest St. Louis
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Calgary Underground Film Festival
North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
qFLIXphiladelphia
BFI Flare

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By Blood

By Blood

A film by Marcos Barbery & Sam Russell
53 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: African American, All Films, Civil Rights, Homepage, Law, Native American, New Release, Slavery, U.S. History

Synopsis

Americans are familiar with the removal of Cherokees in the infamous “Trail of Tears” but the involvement of African American slaves is far less known. When the U.S. Indian Removal Act forced Native Americans to relinquish their native land and move west, countless slaves followed them into the frontier, bound and shackled. In 1866, after U.S.lawmakers amended the Constitution to bar slavery, the Cherokee Nation entered in to a treaty with the federal government, granting perpetual freedom and full tribal membership to Cherokee slaves and their descendants as newly minted Cherokee members called the “Freedmen.”

150 years later, the Cherokee and Seminole Nations, now wealthy tribes with land, casinos and business holdings, continue to deny tribal rights to Freedmen descendants arguing that they are not members of their tribe “by blood.”

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Remittance

Remittance

A film by Patrick Daly & Joel Fendelman
90 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: All Films, Film Studies, Homepage, Human Rights, Labor Studies, New Release, South East Asia, Women Studies

Academic Reviews

Remittance provides an intimate look at the lives of migrant domestic workers in Singapore and captures the hardships that confront them in their struggle to financially get ahead as well as the perseverance of their sacrifice to support their families. Not unlike other domestic workers, Marie leaves behind her children and unemployed husband for Singapore in hopes of earning sufficient savings to eventually open a business in the Philippines. Yet, one hurdle after another confronts her including the deduction of eight months of her wages to cover the entire cost of her migration to Singapore and the squandering of her earnings by a womanizing husband. Yet, Marie perseveres, moonlighting at a bar in the evenings, acquiring skills in weekend classes at the local church, and taking business management courses for domestic workers. But does she eventually prevail?

Remittance should be viewed by anyone interested in the plight of migrant women workers. It is a must-see for students of labor, migration, and economic globalization.

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Professor, University of Southern California
Author of “Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work”

Remittance is a quiet, unpretentious feature film that manages to relay the lived experience of being an overseas Filipino worker (OFWs) in a sober yet sympathetic light. Without narration, the film portrays in vignettes the quotidian complexities faced by migrant laborer’s as it follows the main character Marie’s plight as a domestic worker in Singapore. Along the way, we catch glimpses of the lives of other migrant laborer’s, including non-Filipinos, and the variety of circumstances and choices they may face.

As an accompaniment to coursework related to labor migration, Remittance is on point as it humanizes migrant laborer’s and makes the experience “real” in a way that academic readings and lectures cannot. Especially notable is the choice of the filmmakers to cast actual migrant workers in lead roles, including the central character of Marie. Having migrant domestic workers dramatize their own experience gives this film a documentary feel and a level of ‘street credibility’ that resonates deeply with students.”

Oona Paredes, Assistant Professor, University of Singapore

 

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All Eyes and Ears

All Eyes and Ears

A film by Vanessa Hope
75 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

Synopsis

A timely exploration into the complex links between the U.S. and China, Vanessa Hope’s documentary feature debut evokes the personal and the international with its accent on diplomacy, activism and individual experience. Interspersed with remarks from journalists and experts, ALL EYES AND EARS interweaves the stories of U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, his adopted Chinese daughter, Gracie Mei, and blind legal advocate Chen Guangcheng as they find purpose, identity and resolve amid the two nations’ evolving relationship.

The film follows Huntsman and his family during his tenure as ambassador. As he contends with achieving diplomatic goals in balance with the two countries’ interests in national security and economic growth, teenager Gracie gathers a more intimate understanding of her own cross-­‐cultural identity. Meanwhile, Hope traces Chen Guangcheng’s journey — from being under house arrest to his highly publicized asylum at the U.S. Embassy — highlighting the activist’s thoughts on China’s ambitions as an emergent world power. ALL EYES AND EARS adroitly illuminates the delicate, intersecting layers of history, ideology and politics at play behind current diplomatic maneuvers.

Reviews

” This exquisitely done production uses the Ambassadorship of Jon Huntsman, Jr. to the People’s Republic of China (2009-2011) as a vehicle to look at a number of issues in contemporary China and its relationship with the United States. ” EMRO
Read the full review here

***The juxtaposition of the political and the personal makes for a diverting portrait of a family in often challenging circumstances that they all handle quite deftly. One of the major demands of diplomatic service in China involves maintaining good relations with the government while also acknowledging protestors, a balancing act addressed here in the case of Chen Guangcheng, a blind dissident.”  Video Librarian
Read the full review here

” Extensive interviews with Hunstman, Guangcheng, and other experts add depth to the coverage. Revealing yet never didactic, this 2015 copyright title will spark discussions on Chinese government policies and related topics. ” Booklist
Read the full review here

“A rare, intimate glance into the life of an American diplomat—both the professional challenges and, in Huntsman’s case, the distinctively personal family story. The film also illuminates some of the more troubling aspects of Chinese society today, drawing on the observations of Western China scholars as well as the keen vision of a Chinese legal activist whose arrival at the US embassy and negotiated departure from his homeland demonstrate the tough job all face in managing US-China relations.”

Avery Goldstein, David M. Knott Professor of Global Politics and International Relations, Political Science Department Director, Center for the Study of Contemporary China,
University of Pennsylvania

“The period 2009 to 2011 can now be seen as the twilight of one era and the dawn of another. But across the end of President Hu’s term in office and the start of President Xi’s there are some issues that stay the same, for all the differences: the primacy of the relationship for China with the US, and the many sticking points in that relationship. This fascinating film, which was born from excellent access to Ambassador John Huntsman during his time in China, shows on a very personal level how someone at the heart of the relationship over this period navigated the various perilous shoals and rocks in the relationship, and how they maintained a positive, optimistic outlook.  Anyone interested in the most important relationship in the world today should see this charming and engaging documentary.”

Kerry Brown, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute,
King’s College, London,  Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London

“Vanessa Hope’s film “All Eyes and Ears” brings all the different dimensions of America’s contentious relationship with China together in one film.  The students in my course on Chinese politics at Berkeley found it a fascinating complement to their academic readings. Students were thrilled to have Ms. Hope visit our class to answer questions about the film and talk about some of her harrowing experiences operating as an independent filmmaker in China, calling it “exciting” and “one of the most memorable times I have had at Berkeley.”

Peter Lorentzen, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

“I am so glad I got an early opportunity to see All Eyes and Ears — I loved it and I eagerly await its publication to a wider audience. I especially appreciated the detachment with which it told the personal story of the Huntsman family – and tied the personal story of the ambassador’s family in China to China’s extraordinary development, its emergence as a major player on the world stage, and to the changes this has brought for China’s international relations. I thought the film very successfully gave a voice to the family’s ‘Chinese’ daughter, Gracie, letting her weave the theme of truth and truthfulness into the story told by the film.”

Eva Pils, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

“As a powerful and energetic personal video diary, All Eyes and Ears takes us on the deftly-woven journey of Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 and 2011, a robust and eventful period that marked the rapid rise of China to international power. Through the refreshing narrative guidance of Gracie, his teen daughter adopted from China, we follow this diplomat’s family as they traverse the streets and the country, and navigate the charming and volatile political, social and cultural landscape while advocating and protecting American interests and values in China.

Equally compelling for native Chinese viewers and outsiders alike, the film reveals the complex and sometimes paradoxical image of China while sidestepping cultural and political stereotypes. The filmmaker’s extensive reach has enabled viewers to hear the diverse views from a coterie of respected China experts. Joined by well-known Chinese scholars and courageous human rights activists, they explore the most pressing and relevant issues facing China and the US, from economic development models and trade to political governance and human rights.

Also in stunning vignettes from this travelogue, the film features arresting cultural scenes, from the hutongs (alleys) in Beijing to the Potala Palace and villages in Tibet. It also captures a darker side – China’s pervasive political surveillance.

At a time when we are trying to see beyond the political theater unfolding with the incoming White House administration, the film showcases the challenging and nuanced efforts by diplomats like Jon Huntsman, serving as a timely reminder of the importance of wise diplomacy.”

Wenguang Huang is journalist, writer and translator who is the author of ‘The Little Red Guard’ and ‘A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money and an Epic Power Struggle in China.’


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All Eyes and Ears

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