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Fall 2007 Programs

Archives Index

September 10
taxi to dark sideFilm: Taxi to the Dark Side
104 prisoners have died in suspicious circumstances in U.S. custody during the war on terror. Taxi takes an in-depth look at one case: an Afghan taxi driver called Dilawar, who died as a direct result of beatings he sustained from guards and interrogators at Bagram Air Force Base. The documentary carefully develops the last weeks of Dilawar's life and shows how decisions taken at the pinnacle of power in the Bush Administration led directly to Dilawar's brutal death. "This is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process"–Harper's Magazine. Directed by Alex Gibney, the Academy Award-nominated director of Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room. Co-sponsor: Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council. Download flier.
Tickets: Free for Stony Brook University Students; $4 for Arts Council members; $5 for General Admission.
Monday, September 10, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

September 12
Asia in the 21st Century: A Resurgence–Japan, China, India, South East Asia
Ambassador Aftab Seth, a fluent Japanese speaker, author of a number of books, including one notably in Japanese, is a specialist in Japanese affairs who served as a career diplomat for nearly four decades before taking up his
current position as Director of the prestigeous Global Studies Institute
at Keio University
. A Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he anchored his own TV show for many years in India and has served with distinction in different capacities in the Middle East, Europe, and South East Asia besides being a spokesperson for India's foreign office for a number of years. The title of his thought-provoking address will address issues that are engaging the attention of international relations scholars worldwide as Asia emerges the new powerhouse on the world scene. Sponsored by the Center for India Studies.
Wednesday, September 12, 12:45 pm, Lecture Hall 1

September 22
paraisoFilm: Paraiso–Three Stories of Hope
This trilogy of hope, heroism, and honor reveals the extraordinary stories of three ordinary people whose lives are forever touched by Gawad Kalinga (To Give Care) a movement that is reshaping the image of the new Filipino, calling and challenging everyone to reach out to a higher, nobler cause of
rebuilding a nation by rebuilding each other. A grieving man transforms his personal 9/11 tragedy with an act of enduring charity. A boy who eats pebbles to stave of his hunger finds a home with his adoptive family. A woman who looses her loved ones to a catastrophic mudslide is given a chance to rebuild her life. Celebrated Filipino actors, producers, and directors volunteered their time and talent to bring Paraiso to earth. Yes, Paradise happens on earth! ( In Tagalog with English subtitles.) Co-sponsored with Asian American Advisory Board–Suffolk County and Raise the Roof Foundation. To reserve tickets, please call (631) 742-3479 or (914) 715-8330. Download "The Making of Paraiso." Download flier.
Tickets: $15.00 General Admission
Saturday, September 22, 5:00 pm. Wang Theater

September 26
ahmadSufi Rock
Salman Ahmad of the famed Pakistani Band Junoon rocks the Wang! He sings, shares stories, challenges orthodoxy, and is an activist for Peace and a UNAIDS Ambassador. The documentary film Islamabad Rock City (2001) will also be screened. The film is a look at the rock group Junoon–Lahore natives Salman Ahmad (guitarist/songwriter) and Ali Azmat (vocalist), Muslims who follow the Sufi teachings of Islam, and New Yorker Brian O'Connell (bassist), a Christian. Dubbed the "U2 of Pakistan" by New York Times music critic Jon Pareles, Junoon bridges East and West, Islam and Christianity.
Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

September 27
sea is watchingFilm: The Sea is Watching
Asian Film Forum with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute c/o Thora Wagner
Based on famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's last screenplay, Director Kei Kumai delves into the complex class and sexual dynamics of 19th century Japan. In a brothel in a Japanese village where the ruling and common classes mingle, Fusanosuke, a disgraced samurai, seeks refuge from authorities after he injured a more powerful samurai. Oshin, a young and naive prostitute with a heart of gold, falls in love with Fusanosuke against the advice of older and wiser prostitutes, leading to disastrous results. (In Japanese with English subtitles). Co-sponsored by the Japan Center.
Thursday, September 27, 1:00 pm, Wang Theater

September 30
Herstory's Writers Workshop
11th Anniversary Benefit Reading & Gala Buffet
Enjoy writings from Herstory members old and new: from Escriben/Latinas Write, second issue Voices, premiere issue from Herstory "Inside Suffolk County's Correctional Facilities;" See Herstory documentary excerpts; Special preview of our Prison Photography Show; Walk among the Chinese Zodiac Fountains; Indulge in cuisine from India, China, and Japan.
For more information call 631-725-4697. Download flier.
Tickets: $60.00 General Admission; $25 for students
Sunday, September 30, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm

October 4
issai chizenLecture on "Mindfulness" given by Sensai Issai Chizen
Mindfulness is probably the most frequently used word, both by and about Buddhists, when describing our practice. Books dealing with increasing one's spirituality or just having a more fulfilling life use it as a buzz word. And yet, strictly speaking, it is almost never used correctly. Despite constant misuse of the word, mindfulness is critically important. And it can be learned. Ven. Issai Chizen Denton Sensei is a Dharma successor of Ven. Mitsunen Kosho Nordstrom Roshi and a lineage holder in both Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. He has been studying Buddhism for nearly 40 years. In addition to being the head priest and resident teacher at Wagyo-ji Zen Temple in Oceanside of Long Island NY, he is also the Executive Director and Head of liturgy and training at Zenshin Temple in Yonkers, NY, and vice-abbot of Kugei-in in Melbourne, FL. Free for all; donations welcome!
Download flier. RSVP: Sheila at asriversflow@yahoo.com  or Hai-Dee at haideelee@yahoo.com. Sponsored by the Buddhism Study & Practice Group (a Stony Brook University club) and the Wang Center.
Thursday October 4, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Wang Center, Room 301

October 6
eikoMourning by Eiko & Koma, and Tan
Butoh-inspired MacArthur "Genius" awardees Eiko & Koma collaborate with acclaimed avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan in celebrating their idiosyncratic styles and spirits. Delving into themes and images associated with dislocation, death, and mourning, this fusion of dance and music allows intimacy and inspiration, evoking the depth of the ocean and the density of a remote forest. "Deep inside our dance are ancient memories that we hope people can sense and share, even if they do not remember from where and when"–Eiko & Koma. Co-sponsored by the Japan Center.
Tickets: $10 for students & seniors; $15 general admission; $25 VIP.
Saturday October 6, 8:00 pm, Wang Theater

tearsOctober 9
Film: 1 Litre Of Tears
One day on her way to school, middle school student Aya (Asae Onishi) suddenly falls to the ground. The doctor diagnoses her with spinocerebellar degeneration, a rare and incurable neurological disease. Entering high school, Aya's condition continues to worsen as physical movements become more difficult. Forced to attend a special boarding school, she nonetheless finds hope and happiness through the support of her new friends and family. Working hard, she completes her high school education and bravely begins a new stage in her life, despite her weak health and continuous trips to the hospital. Aya never gives up, living each day of her life to the fullest until the very end. (Directed by Riki Okamura, 2004, in Japanese with Englsh subtitles). Sponsored by the Japan Center.
Tuesday, October 9, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

October 13
Meditation Workshop led by Nancy Bonardi
A special opportunity for beginning and intermediate practitioners to strengthen their practice and receive guidance from a certified meditation instructor. Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. Nancy Bonardi has been practicing with Chan Master Sheng Yen since 1978, participating regularly in yearly retreats with the Master. Master Sheng Yen is the founder of the Chan Meditation Center in Elmhurst, Queens, and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, NY. Nancy is certified by Master Sheng Yen to give meditation instruction. She also teaches metta contemplation in College Retreats and Wellness Retreats at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center. She lives in Stamford, CT, and teaches English to 7th graders. Please wear comfortable clothing. Bring a bag lunch, and a meditation cushion if you have one. The workshop is FREE for students; a $20 donation is suggested for non-students. To register for the workshop, contact Sheila at asriversflow@yahoo.com  or Hai-Dee at haideelee@yahoo.com. Sponsored by the Buddhism Study & Practice Group (a Stony Brook University club) and the Wang Center.
Saturday, October 13,  9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Wang Center, Room 301

October 15
megumiFilm: Abduction–The Megumi Yokota Story
The remarkable story of a thirty-year search for Megumi Yokota, a 13 year old Japanese girl who was kidnapped by North Korean spies in 1977 while coming home from school. Director Jane Campion chronicles the twists and turns faced by an ordinary banker and housewife as they search for their long-lost daughter in an internationally hostile political climate. Abduction uncovers the strange layers of facts and deceptions that shroud what exactly happened. More intimately, the film follows the extraordinary journey of Megumi's parents, as their search for a missing daughter thrusts them into the center of a volatile international conflict. "Though the film seeks to draw attention to a tragedy largely ignored by Western media, it proves to be much more than a political or investigative expose. At heart, the film is a moving testament to the indomitable love of a parent for a child"–Taro. Co-sponsored with the Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council and the Japan Center. (In Japanese & Korean with English subtitles). Winner of the Best Documentary, Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Download flier.
Monday October 15, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

ruthOctober 22
Ruthanne Lum McCunn & the God of Luck: The Perils & Rewards of Using Historical Fiction in the Classroom
Ruthanne Lum McCunn was born in San Francisco's Chinatown and raised and educated in Hong Kong. As a young child, Ruthanne recalls being left out because of her mixed ethnic background (Chinese and Scottish). This isolation produced an award-winning author of children's books and novels with a multicultural vision. McCunn's novel Thousand Pieces of Gold was adapted into a feature film and her picture book Pie-Biter was published in English, Chinese, and Spanish. "My writer's voice really comes from the oral storytelling of my childhood," McCunn says. "Books were very hard for me to come by because we had no public library and books were very expensive, but everybody told stories. And I loved to listen to them." Ruthanne holds life credentials for teaching K-12, and she has worked as an elementary school librarian and taught K through graduate school. Ruthanne now writes full time and frequently returns to the classroom to talk with students and teachers.
Monday October 22, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

October 29
new year babyFilm: New Year Baby
New Year Baby chronicles one daughter’s search to recover her family’s past that takes her back to her birthplace in Cambodia and ends with a more profound respect and understanding of her parents, especially her father. Director Socheata Poeuv will be on hand to delve into the questions surrounding her journey. "This fine first feature is a disarming personal documentary that turns into a very moving consideration of historical genocide and individual heroism"—Variety.
Co-sponsor: Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council.
Monday October 29, 7:00 pm, Wang Theater

November 3
BSPG Meditation Workshop with Sensai Issai Chizen
Program includes sitting, walking meditation, and private interview for participants to discuss any question about spiritual practice. Please wear comfortable clothing. Bring a bag lunch, and a meditation cushion if you have one. Ven. Issai Chizen Denton Sensei is a Dharma successor of Ven. Mitsunen Kosho Nordstrom Roshi and a lineage holder in both Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. He has been studying Buddhism for nearly 40 years. In addition to being the head priest and resident teacher at Wagyo-ji Zen Temple in Oceanside, NY, he is also the Executive Director and Head of liturgy and training at Zenshin Temple in Yonkers, NY, and vice-abbot of Kugei-in in Melbourne, FL. Free for students;
$20 donation suggested for non-students. Download flier. RSVP: Sheila at asriversflow@yahoo.com  or Hai-Dee at haideelee@yahoo.com. Sponsored by the Buddhism Study & Practice Group and the Wang Center.
Saturday, November 3, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Wang Center, Room 101

Aboriginal Australian Films
November 5
Stolen Generations
Stolen Generations is told by the survivors of the "Stolen Generations," a policy of Australia which began in the 19th century and lasted until the 1970s. You will hear from people, who, as children, were brutally removed from their families, rounded up, and transported from one side of the country to the other. You will also hear stories of resistance—how mothers smeared their children with black clay to make them more 'black', hid them in trees, behind sand dunes, in hollow logs, or were constantly on the move to avoid "The Welfare." Passing for white also became a common strategy for survival. Stolen Generations also documents the long-term effects—the unresolved trauma and grief, the alcoholism and suicide, and the loss of Indigenous identity, culture, and language. It will also tell the stories of reunion between stolen children and surviving parents—both joyous and painful. (Directed by Darlene Johnson, 2000, 55 min.) Part of the Our Way art exhibit. Sponsored by the President's Office.

crocodileCrocodile Dreaming
Crocodile Dreaming is a film that tells a traditional Aboriginal story, similar to Ten Canoes (see below). A stone holding the stories and songs of the ancestors has been stolen from its proper location and subsequently causes the death of two children. It must be found and brought back to restore the right order. (Directed by Darlene Johnson, 2007, 27 min.)
Monday, November 5, Wang Theater, 7:00 p.m.

Films will be followed by a Q&A with the director Darlene Johnson who is from the Dunghutti tribe of the east coast of New South Wales. Other movies by Darlene Johnson include Gulpilil: One Red Blood (2002), Two Bob Mermaid (1996), and a documentary on the making of Phil Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence. She's also an actor and a writer.

November 9
Ten Canoes
ten canoesTen Canoes tells a traditional Aboriginal story, like Crocodile Dreaming, in a new way. A thousand years ago, Dayindi, an Aborigine on his first goose egg hunting expedition, fancies the third and youngest wife of his older brother. In response, Minygululu, the older brother, decides to tell Dayindi a long ancestral story about a similar situation that tore two brothers apart. The film, which weaves the goose egg hunt, filmed in black and white, with the ancestral tale, filmed in color, features the same actors in the two stories and ends with a reconciliation between the brothers as Dayindi learns his lesson. (Directed by Rolf de Heer, 2006, 92 min.) In English with Ganalbingu subtitles. Part of the Our Way art exhibit.
Friday, November 9, Wang Theater, 7:00 p.m.


November 7
i landI Land: Talk Story Hula and Hip-Hop
I Land is Keo Woolford's hilarious search for the meaning and relevance of his heritage amidst backyard parties, Hollywood kitsch, the realm of the sacred, and the varied places where hula lives. From his high school days with a "Hula God" to his tour in a famous boy band, Woolford's account will keep you enthralled. Combining elements of traditional Hawaiian hula,
Hip-Hop, Hawaiian talk story, and spoken word, I Land tells a funny, defiant, unforgettable, even transcendant, tale where worlds separated by geography and culture collide. I Land was created by Keo Woolford in collaboration with director Roberta Uno. Choreography by Robert Cazimero and Rokafella. Co-commissioned by the Asia Society and Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with DiverseWorks. "With his glossy black hair and rippling muscles, his hip-hop moves and hula chants command attention...the result inspires and exhilarates. This is theatre that takes you somewhere new"–Backstage. Download flier.
Tickets: $10 for students & seniors; $15 general admission; $25 VIP.
Wednesday, November 7, 7:00 to 10:00 pm. Wang Theater

November 8
womanFilm:Tokyo Story (Tokyo monogatari)
Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari) follows an aging couple, Tomi and Sukichi, on their journey from their rural village to visit their two married children in bustling, post-war Tokyo. Their reception is disappointing: too busy to entertain them, their children send them off to a health spa. After Tomi falls ill, she and Sukichi return home, while the children, grief-stricken, hasten to be with her. From a simple tale unfolds one of the greatest of all Japanese films. Starring Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, the film reprises one of the director's favorite themes—that of generational conflict—in a way that is quintessentially Japanese and yet so universal in its appeal that it continues to resonate as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces. Co-sponsored by the Japan center.
Thursday, November 8, 1:00 pm, Wang Theater

November 15
kinsmenKinsmen/Svajanam
Jazz Saxophone and South Indian Classical Music
Two masters of the alto saxophone–one a living legend of South Indian Carnatic music and the other a fiercely innovative Indian American jazz musician–present a cross-cultural, intergenerational collaborative work. A recognized innovator, Kadri Gopalnath has introduced and adapted a relatively new western instrument to the traditions of Indian Carnatic music. Drawing on his Indian ancestry and using American jazz as his
foundation, Rudresh Mahanthappa fuses a myriad of contemporary and traditional influences into his highly improvisational work. The distinction between their respective influences, training, and idiom is both complicated and enhanced by their shared South Indian heritage as well as their common
vehicle of the alto saxophone. Together, they fuse a myriad of traditional
and contemporary influences to create a ground-breaking artistic vision.
The two are joined by the Dakshina Ensemble with violin, guitar/sitar-guitar, mridangam (barrel drum), bass, and drum-set. Download flier.
Tickets: $10 for students & seniors; $15 general admission; $25 VIP.
Thursday, November 15, 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Wang Theater

November 18
diwaliDeepotsav: Festival of Lights
In the spirit of Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights celebrates the rich beauty of Indian culture through dance, song, music, and food. The evening's festivities begin at the Wang Center with a Pooja, a ceremony of lights in honor of abundance and prosperity. Join in a parade of lights from the Wang Center to the Student Activities Center. At the SAC auditorium, the unique talents of our very own student artists will enthrall you. Savor delicious vegetarian delicacies from the inimitable Curry Club. Party to the hyped music of The Dhol Experience. An evening not to be missed! Purchase your tickets now at the Wang Center, Suite 302. Cash or check only. $10 General Admission; $7 Students
Download flier. Presented by the Center for India Studies, the Charles B. Wang Center, the Indian Graduate Student Association, and the Hindu Student Council. For more information, call 632-4400 or e-mail wangcenter@stonybrook.edu.
Sunday, November 18, 6:00 pm, Wang Center and Student Activities Center

November 19
cambodiaAfter Empire & After Tyranny: Reinventing Cambodia's Khmer Culture
Featuring Philippe Peycam, Director of the Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia
From the time of French rule, to decolonization, to the murderous attempt of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to make it once again a peasant land, Cambodia has especially suffered from imposed Orientalist regimes of knowledge. Today, the Center for Khmer Studies is collaborating with local universities and research centers, as well as with many in the United States and Europe, to aid Cambodia in the tricky task of recovering its historical heritage while at the same time making it a modern and forward-looking nation. Philippe Peycam speaks on how Westerners and political zealots imposed their definition of a Cambodian identity, and what might be the new cultural moves which will help Cambodia build a successful postcolonial society. Reception to follow. For more information, call 631-632-4400 or contact the Department of History at 631-632-7500. Download flier.
Monday, November 19, 4:00 p.m., Wang Lecture Hall 1

November 28
last atomic bombFilm: The Last Atomic Bomb: A Survivor’s Story
Sakue Shimohira is Hibakusha, a survivor of the 1945 atomic blasts that ended World War II. This Nagasaki survivor dedicated her life as an activist working on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. This documentary follows Sakue as she journeys to rallies, school campuses, and political capitals interweaving her personal past and experiences with rarely seen archival footage, coverage of U.S. censorship of the bombs and life for survivors after the blasts, and interviews of other Nagasaki survivors. (Directed by Robert Richter, 2006, English). Sponsored by the Japan Center. "It's impossible to remain detached...an emotional sledge hammer but not a diatribe...Deeply affecting..." —New York Times
Co-sponsored by the Japan Center.
Wednesday, November 28, 5:30 pm, Wang Theater

John KollerDecember 3
What the Buddha Saw
The Great Asian Philosophical Revolution

Speaker: Dr. John Koller, Professor of Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This talk will focus on the Buddha's vision of suffering, its causes, the removal of these causes and the way to overcome suffering (the four noble truths of Buddhism). It will emphasize the Buddha's vision of reality as an interconnected network of ever-changing processes, a vision that enabled him to see that the human attempts to achieve permanent and separate existence are the root cause of human suffering. It will also emphasize the Buddha's meditational methods, the practices of mindfulness that enable us to see ourselves as we truly are, dynamic, ever-changing, interconnected processes, thereby overcoming suffering. The philosophical revolution that the Buddha's vision and practice initiated was two-fold. First, because it emphasized the individual person's own efforts to transform his or her life, it gave a new importance and value to the individual in Asian thought. Second, because the Buddha's vision and practice were grounded in experience rather than religious faith or human reason, it ushered in a new age of pragmatism, avoiding the tendency to seek for absolutes as a basis for truth and practice. Download flier.
Monday, December 3, 4:00 p.m., Wang Center, Lecture Hall 1

December 6
Meditation Teaching on Mindfulness (Samadha) & Insight (Vipassana)
Meditations by Venerable Phramaha Anake Panguan (Anekasi Bhikkhu) of Vajiradhammapadip Temple in Centereach. The teaching will be accompanied by yogi breathing techniques to help boost awareness and relaxation.
Thursday, December 6, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. , Wang Center, Room 101

December 8
Deepening Meditation with a Focus on Lovingkindness
Led by Dr. JoAnn Rosen, Assistant Director for Consultation and Outreach, University Counseling Center, and Dr. Cheryl Kurash, Clinical Psychologist, University Counseling Center. This workshop will offer traditional Mindfulness Meditation instruction, principles and practices, with a particular focus on developing Lovingkindness towards oneself and others. Please wear comfortable clothes, bring a cushion, towel, socks, and sweater. Free for students. Suggested donation for non-students $20. To register, please e-mail asriversflow@yahoo.com or haideelee@yahoo.com. Sponsored by the
Buddhism Study & Practice Group. Download flier.
Saturday, December 8, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Wang Center, Room 301


Previous seasons' programming

The Wang Center is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guided Tours for schoolgroups and groups of 10 and more are available by appointment.

Stony Brook University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. If you need a disability-related accommodation, please call (631) 632-6320.


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