Tuesday, June 21, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
The Legendary Script (2006), dir. Yeng Tha Her and Ying Yang. Hmong with English subtitles. 107 min.
The first Hmong movie filmed in China. Very similar in style and content to Hong Kong TV martial arts serials, except here the Chinese are the villains.
Tuesday, June 28, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Burma VJ (2008), dir. Anders Østergaard. Burmese and English with English subtitles. 84 min.
Handheld video footage combined with dramatized re-enactments is used to tell the story of the 2007 monks' protest in Burma. Both an important document of a key social uprising in Burma and a vehicle for examining the nature of "truth" or representation of "reality" in documentary films and videos.
Tuesday, July 5, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Kwaam Jam San, Tae Rak Chan Yaao (Best of Times) (2009), dir. Yongyooth Thongkongtoon. Thai with English subtitles. 117 min.
A rare romantic comedy (not just for Thailand, but for any culture): this excellent and highly acclaimed film treats the subject with maturity and dignity--and believability--while still managing to be funny and entertaining. Two love stories are told in parallel, one involving a young couple and one an older one. Touching without crossing the line into sappy.
Tuesday, July 12, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Sip Ha Kham Doeun Sip Et (Mekong Full Moon Party) (2002), dir. Jira Maligool. Thai and Lao with Thai and English subtitles. 119 min.
It's hard (near-impossible, actually) to find feature films completely in Lao language, produced in Laos, that we haven't shown before...so as we did last year, our Lao film for the SEASSI film series is technically a Thai one, albeit a Thai film with a lot of Lao language spoken in it (mostly the “Isaan” variety spoken by the sizable Lao ethnic minority in Thailand). The country of Laos and its inhabitants also feature heavily in the plot of Sip Ha Kham Doeun Sip Et (literally “The Full Moon of the Eleventh Month”), which corresponds to the end of the rainy season-centered “Buddhist Lent” in Thailand and Laos. In the Northeastern provincial capital of Nong Khai, this time of year features mysterious “fireballs” which can be seen rising from the Mekong River. Tourists from all over Thailand (and beyond) flock to witness this phenomenon. In this film, the occasion is used as a device to examine themes of tradition vs. modernity, and
to a lesser extent, the perceived relationship between Laos and Thailand, as the director provides a fanciful explanation for the fireballs with which to anchor the plot and link the lives of the various characters.
Tuesday, July 19, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Garasi (2006). dir. Agung Sentausa, et al. Indonesian with English subtitles. 113 min.
Tuesday, July 26, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Un Barrage contre le Pacifique (The Sea Wall) (2008), dir. Rithy Panh. French and Khmer with English subtitles. 115 min.
The French writer Maguerite Duras (1914-1996) was born in then-French Indochina (present-day Cambodia) and lived there through her teens. Her recollections and observations on her experiences in the 1920s in Indochina formed the basis for two of her novels, The Lover and The Sea Wall . The former was made into a film in 1992. Other films have also tried to capture the period of French colonialism in Vietnam and Cambodia, including Indochine . But to my knowledge, this is the first time that a descendant of subjects of that former colony has contributed his perspective on the era...which is exactly what we see here via the work of renowned Cambodian director Rithy Panh. The material is not such a stretch for the French-trained Panh, though this is a significant departure from his usual fare of probing, somber documentaries (S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine; The Land of Wandering Souls) or gritty realist narratives on present-day Cambodian life (The Rice Farmers; One Night After the War). The story of the Sea Wall deals with the widow of a French colonial official (played by Isabelle Huppert), who stays on in Indochina and tries to survive by farming after her husband's death, at the same time raising her two teenaged children (one of whom is clearly meant to be Duras herself). Around her family's struggle (and intertwined with it), we see harsh treatment of Khmer peasants, and encroachment on their land by rich Chinese landowners (supported by the French). See for yourself if a Cambodian director brings a new and fresh perspective to this historical drama.
Tuesday, August 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, 206 Ingraham Hall. Free and open to the public with discussion following the film.
Thuong nho dong quê (Nostalgia for the Countryside) (1995), dir. Ðang Nhat Minh. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 120 min.
A gentle, contemplative (and beautifully photographed) film whose characters live in a northern Vietnamese village. The slowly unfolding story deals with the rural characters' relationships with each other, as well as with family members and other villagers who have left for the city and abroad.
- SEASSI 2010 Film Series
- SEASSI 2009 Film Series
- SEASSI 2008 Film Series
- SEASSI 2007 Film Series
2005 Film Series