Wednesday, 30 January
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium
Directed by Jack Neo
Singapore, 2005, 110 min
Hokkien and English with English Subtitles
Huang (Mark Lee), Hui (Henry Thai) and Guang (Marcus Chin) are doing hard time in Singapore’s notorious Changgi Prison. But despite their different backgrounds, the con man, the petty thief and the gambler become fast friends. After their release, the trio encounters severe family pressure as well as societal discrimination, despite their will to turn over a new leaf. Will society give them the “one more chance” they need to prove themselves again?
January 24, 3:00 p.m. (Saunders 345) Presented by Dr. Deirdre de la Cruz, University of Michigan
This talk presents an assemblage of international events and ethnographic vignettes, each of which involves the following: 1) Filipino nationals on a global stage; 2) the mass media; and 3) divine intervention. Inspired by recent anthropological literature on “networks,” “global connections,” and “the contingency of encounters,” this talk suggests that seemingly unrelated phenomena and events can be brought together in politically relevant and culturally meaningful ways through close attention to their points of conjuncture, convergence, and even at times, coincidence. This talk is especially concerned with convergent forms of mediation, be they political, religious, technological, or ethnographic, and strives to understand the perils and promises of mediation as they are informed by Filipino Catholicism and imagined by Catholic Filipinos in and outside of the contemporary Philippines.
Deirdre de la Cruz is a post-doctoral fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows, Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Affiliate Faculty in the Doctoral Program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University in 2006, and is currently working on her book manuscript, entitled All His Instruments: Mary, Miracles, and the Media in the Catholic Philippines. In addition to the anthropology of religion and Philippine studies, her research interests include: modernity and mass culture; historical anthropology; colonialism and gender.
Wednesday, 23 January
6:30 p.m. – Korean Studies Auditorium
Directed by Enison Sinaro
Indonesia, 2007, 120 min
Indonesian and English with English Subtitles
Inspired by the terrorist bombing which killed over 200 people in Bali in December 2002, LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN weaves together the stories of three characters who live through the planning, execution and aftermath of the attacks. Banned by Balinese officials from being filmed or even screened in Bali, the movie, written by Singaporeans Andy Logam Tan and Wong Wai Leng, calls militant jihad into question while trying to provide some insight into how the planners viewed their efforts to lash out at the West…and how victims had to deal with their own prejudices and blind hatred of Islam following the attacks.
As Indonesian poet and film critic Nuruddin Asyhadie noted about the film, “Long Road to Heaven can be seen as a message to viewers that we need more than understanding to stop terrorism or violence. We must first reconcile with ourselves and step away from our own egos. Only then we can go meet ‘the other’ without any preconditions.”
Please join us for light refreshments following the film!
Click play to listen to this mp3. Please note sound files are not playable on mobile devices.
January 17, 12:00 p.m. Presented by Ambassador Raymond Burghardt, Director of Seminars at the East West Center
The steady improvement in U.S. – Vietnam relations in recent years has been a remarkable development for two governments that fought each other in a long, bitter war. At a time when America’s relations with some old friends are strained, its friendly ties with this old enemy must seem surprising to many people. As two veteran Asia hands, former U.S. Ambassadors Stephen Bosworth and Morton Abramowitz commented, “Ironically, Viet Nam may be the most pro-American country in Southeast Asia.” While America’s “soft power” may be eroding elsewhere in Asia, young Vietnamese idolize Bill Gates and aspire to study at American universities.
The good relations between Washington and Hanoi can be attributed to several factors and Ambassador Burghardt will discuss them. These factors include: (1) a pragmatic approach by both countries since normalization in 1995, focusing on present and future mutual benefits rather than obsessing about the past, and, (2) more recently, the realization by both parties that we have no strategic conflict and, in fact, have important areas of strategic convergence.
Ambassador Burghardt is now the Director of East-West Seminars at the East-West Center (EWC). Concurrently with his position at the EWC, he is also the Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). He served as the Ambassador to Viet Nam from 2001- September 2004. He was formerly the Director of the AIT in Taipei from 1999-2001. Ambassador Burghardt received a B.A. from Columbia College in 1967 and did graduate study at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He speaks Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.
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