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Fall 2011 Films

September 21, 2011

Anna May Wong: "In Her Own Words" 

A one hour documentary by Yunah Hong

Introduction and discussion by Writer/ Director Yunah Hong, joined Dr. Shirley Lim, Assistant Professor of History & Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University.

"I represent one considerable spot of yellow that's come to stay on the silver of the screen," declared the legendary Chinese American actress Anna May Wong (1905-1961) early in her career. Intricately constructed and visually rich, Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words chronicles the life of the first Asian American actress to grace Hollywood screens in the early twentieth century.                   

Free admission, all welcome, seating limited.

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Wednesday, September 21 7pm, Wang Center Theater


October 3, 2011

Give Up Tomorrow

(Michael Collins / 2011 / UK / 90 minutes / English, Filipino, and Spanish with English Subtitles)

Give Up Tomorrow

Set amidst old world vestiges of colonialism, classism and backdoor politics in the Philippines, Give Up Tomorrow tells the story of Paco Larrañaga, wrongfully convicted for the 1997 murder of Marijoy and Jacqueline Chong. Rather than simply building an evidentiary case about an individual injustice, the film exposes the roots of this miscarriage to reveal the interconnected complexities that permeate Filipino culture, and explores schism of race, class, and political power at the core of the Philippine’s tumultuous democracy. Give Up Tomorrow is also an intimate family drama, telling the story of the Larrañagas’ struggle to free their son, and the Chongs’ search for justice for their daughters.  The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Special Guests: Director Michael Collins and Producer Marty Syjuco

Part of the Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series

Tickets: $5.00. Free admission for SB students.

Monday, October 3, 7pm, Wang Center Theater

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October 12, 2011  Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski

Amigo Film Screening with Writer and Director John Sayles

(John Sayles / 2011 / USA / 128 minutes / English)

Celebrated writer and director John Sayles comes to Stony Brook’s Charles B. Wang Center for a special screening of his 17th feature film, Amigo, a searing exploration of guerilla warfare and American interventionism in the Philippine-American War.

Amigo stars legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre as Rafael, mayor of a village occupied by American troops. Rafael comes under pressure from a tough-as-nails officer (Chris Cooper) to help the Americans in their hunt for Filipino guerilla fighters. But Rafael’s brother (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local guerillas, and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor. Rafael quickly finds himself forced to make the impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by ordinary civilians in an occupied country. A powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence, Amigo is a page torn from the untold history of the Philippines, and a mirror of today’s unresolvable conflicts.

Preceding the screening, John Sayles reads from his new novel Moment in the Sun, from which Amigo is drawn.

Reception to follow.

Special Guest: Academy Award Nominee John Sayles

Wednesday, October 12, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater

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October 17, 2011

Wo Ai Ni Mommy

(Stephanie Wang-Breal / 2010 / USA / 77 minutes / English)

From 2000-2008, China was the leading country for U.S. international adoptions. There are now approximately 70,000 Chinese children being raised in the United States. Wo Ai Ni Mommy explores what happens when an older Chinese girl is adopted into an American family. This film reveals the complicated gains and losses that are an inherent aspect of international, transracial adoption.

Wo Ai Ni Mommy Thumbnail

In 2007 Donna and Jeff Sadowsky of Long Island, New York submitted their dossier to adopt eight-year old Fang Sui Yong from Guangzhou, China. From the very first moment Sui Yong meets her new mother, Donna, we get a real sense of the emotional confusion and loss Sui Yong experiences, as adoption workers translate their first words of communication. This day will change Sui Yong’s life, forever. Language, habits, food, everything she knows will never be the same. Her new life in America is filled with happiness and confusion. As she struggles to survive in this new world, we witness her transform into a lively, outspoken American. Sui Yong has become someone neither she nor Donna could have imagined. In a sense, she’s the same girl Donna met in Guangzhou all those months ago – and yet she’s utterly different.

Part of the Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series

Special Guest: Donna Sadowsky

Tickets: $5.00. Free admission for SB students.

 Film Website »

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 Monday, October 17, 7pm, Wang Center Theater


November 1, 2011

When Harry Tries to Marry

(Navan Padrai / 2011/ USA / 93 minutes / English)

HWhen Harry Tries to Marryarry is 22, handsome, charming – and determined to avoid the kind of “love marriage” that left his assimilated Indian parents bitterly divorced. Instead, he seeks a traditional arranged marriage with to an eligible young woman from India. But when he travels to India to meet his bride, Nita, he begins to question his plan. Will he choose the security of a traditional marriage, or will he pursue his blossoming feelings for his American friend Theresa? When Harry Tries to Marry

is a cross-cultural romantic comedy about the ultimate blind date. Directed by Nayan Padrai, with Rahul Rai (Harry), Stefanie Estes (Theresa), and Freisha Bomanbehram (Nita).

Special Guests: Director Nayan Padrai and Selected Cast Members

Free admission.

Tuesday, November 1, 7pm, Wang Center Theater

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Spring 2011 Films

Confucius Institute Film Series: Three Chinese Modernitiesthe goddess

February 23, 2011
1. The Goddess (Shennu)

"The epitome of Chinese realist filmmaking in the 1930s, The Goddess features Chinese superstar Ruan Lingyu as a struggling mother in Shanghai who is driven to prostitution. Unfolding silently with ravishing beauty, the film draws its power from Ruan’s subtle performance.

Bravely avoiding the clichéd 'prostitute with a heart of gold’ portrayal, The Goddess was a social critique of contemporary China, an environment which could force a woman to such extreme actions in order to survive." –


Director: Wu Yonggang

Screenplay: Wu Yonggang

Cinematographer: Hong Weilie

Producer: Luo Mingyou

Cast: Ruan Lingyu, Li Keng, Zhang Zhizhi

Description: B/W, silent, about 79 minutes

Free Admission. For larger groups or classes, please call to reserve seats. For more information, call (631) 632-5476 or email:

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Wednesday, February 23, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater


March 23, 2011In the Mood for Love film poster
2. In the Mood for Love

“In the Mood for Love” is a lushly romantic, intensely sensual film, even though the two principals rarely so much as hold hands onscreen. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Maggie Cheung each give the sort of performance in which a glance or gesture means more than much of the dialogue. Director Wong Kar-wai's use of color, music, and sound is simultaneously nostalgic and refreshingly original. The gorgeous photography pours color through each scene, making everything from Li-Zhen's extraordinary dresses to the drab hallways seem beautiful... the canvas here is of alleys, stairways, cramped offices, and even more cramped apartments... breathtaking... beauty has been found in the most unexpected of places. Wong's use of tight shots and low lighting adds to the intimate atmosphere, as well as his reliance on a slow-moving camera that takes its time to absorb all that is going on, practically moving in sync with the music... Throughout the film, what is unsaid is almost more im- portant than what is actually said, and there is a sense that the film is a memory of one or both of the leads, looking back with regret at lost opportunities.” -- Bob Mastrangelo, Rovi
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Director: Kar Wai Wong

Screenplay: Kar Wai Wong 

Free Admission. For larger groups or classes, please call to reserve seats. For more information, call (631) 632-5476 or email:

Wednesday, February 23, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater 


March 14, 2011

Mary Ann Smothers Bruni/2009/63 min/Kurdish with English Subtitles

The horror of “honor killings” and their acceptance by the community, even the children of the victims, is clearly documented in this film. The film describes the courageous battle by two women in their attempt to encourage men and women of all backgrounds to eradicate this atrocity.

The guest speaker for this film will be the director MARY ANN SMOTHERS BRUNI

For the trailer click here

Part of the Port Jefferson Documentary Series

Monday, March 14, 7:00 pm, Theater Three, Main Street, Port Jefferson



March 16, 2011

South of the Border  

Ahn Pan-seok/2006/109 min/Korean with English Subtitles

 Directed by Ahn Pan-seok, South of the Border explores the life and challenges of Kim Sun-ho (Cha Seung-won), a talented horn player in an orchestra in North Korea. Kim defects to the South with his family, leaving behind his girlfriend Yon-Hwa. Struggling to adapt to life in Seoul, Kim builds a new life on the other side of the Korean Demilitarized Zone – without the love of his life.

Preceded by The Korean Crisis  

Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 pm, Wang Center Theater

March 17, 2011
vincent whoVincent Who?

Curtis Chin/2009/40 min/English

Vincent Chin was a 27 year old Chinese American draftsman and celebrating his upcoming marriage in Detroit when he was attacked with baseball bats in 1982 by Ronald Ebens, a Chrysler supervisor and Michael Nitz, Ebens’ laid-off stepson. The fatal assault, motivated by anti-Japanese sentiment among autoworkers due to Japan’s successful entry into the United States automobile market, ended in Chin’s death and galvanized Asian and Asian Americans around the country to form a real community and movement. This documentary, inspired by a series of town hall meetings organized by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress on the 25th anniversary of the case, features interviews with the key players at the time, as well as a whole new generation of activists. Vincent Who? asks how far Asian Americans have come since then and how far they have yet to go. Watch trailer »

For the flier click here

Discussion with Director Curtis Chin and Sergeant Robert Reecks of the Suffolk County Police Department Hates Crimes Unit. 

Cosponsored with the Pi Delta Psi Cultural Fraternity chapter at Stony Brook University.

Thursday, March 17, 7:00 pm, Staller Center Main Stage


March 21, 2011

summer pastureSummer Pasture
Lynn True and Nelson Walker/2010/85 min/Tibetan with English Subtitles

Winner of the 2010 Full Frame Inspiration Award and nominee for the 2011 Spirit Award, Summer Pasture is a tender universal story of family survival that offers a deeply personal account of a nomadic family in rural Tibet as they face the challenges of a swiftly modernizing world. 

The special guest speaker for the film will be the director, Nelson Walker.

For the flier click here

Part of the Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series

Tickets: $5.00. Free admission for SB students.

Monday, March 21, 7:00 pm, Wang Center Theater  



March 28, 2011

The Tillman Story

Amir Bar-Lev/2010/94 min/English

tillman storyPat Tillman gave up his professional football career to join the Army Rangers in 2002—and became an instant symbol of patriotic fervor and unflinching duty. But the truth about Pat Tillman is far more complex, and ultimately more heroic, than the caricature created by the media. And when the government tried to turn his death into war propaganda, they took on the wrong family. From her home in the Santa Cruz mountains, Pat’s mother, Dannie Tillman, led the family’s crusade to reveal the truth beneath the mythology of their son’s life and death.

 Featuring candid and revelatory interviews with Pat's fellow soldiers as well as his family, Amir Bar-Lev’s emotional and insightful film not only shines a light on the shady aftermath of Pat’s death and calls to task the entire chain of command but also examines themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself. The special guest speaker for the film will be the director, Amir Bar-Lev. More »

For the flier click here
Part of the Port Jefferson Documentary Film Series

Tickets: $5.00. Free admission for SB students.

Monday, March 28, 7:00 pm, Wang Center Theater


April 5, 2011
Video Musics II: Sun Wu-Kong: The Monkey King

sun wu-kongA hip-hop, stop-motion animation video opera

Alexis Gideon is a Portland, Oregon-based artist and musician who has toured both nationally and internationally. His one-hour multimedia video opera Video Musics II: Sun Wu-Kong is based on the classic 16th century Chinese novel The Journey to the West and follows the Monkey King through the trials and tribulations of his adventurous quest for spiritual insight. The piece explores and celebrates Chinese mythology and culture as well as hip hop as a narrative form and the balance between abstract narrative and a more traditional linear narrative. Presented by the Confucius Institute. Free admission. Video Clips »

For the flier click here    

"Visually, Gideon stretches the silly putty of any preconceived art notions and melds, marries and mashes charcoal sketches, paintings, Claymation, animation, flip-book drawings and video footage of forests into a kaleidescopic, psycho-delic merry-go-round. It is the ultimate adult cartoon."–Sara Moskovitz, Willamette Week

Tuesday, April 5 , 7:00 pm, Wang Center Theater



April 27, 2011Departures film poster


Come join a fund-raising event dedicated to the relief of victims suffering in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake! We will be screening Yojiro Takita's 2009 Academy Award winning masterpiece "Departures" (Best Foreign Film), and enjoying snacks from Trader Joe's.

Departures follows the story of a young, out-of-work cellist named Daigo, who decides to return with his wife Mika to his rural hometown. Searching for work, he responds to a cryptic classified ad for work in “Departures” only to find out that the position is in the field of “encoffining,” the ritual preparation of a corpse before it is placed in a casket for cremation. Desperate, Daigo accepts the position and to his surprise discovers that he possess a natural talent for the work. Death being a taboo subject for the Japanese, Daigo is too ashamed to tell his wife Mika, leaving him torn. Combined with a healthy dose of light-hearted humor, Departures tells a refreshing story about reconciliation, acceptance, and finding one’s place in society. For a primarily American audience, the film will grant a rare window into the uniquely Japanese tradition of the “Nokanshi”. The closest American analog might be 'coroner', however the relationship between the Nokanshi and the bereaved family is far for intimate, as the work is ceremonially done in front of them.

The event is entirely free to attend, though we invite guests to make a suggested donation of $5 for students and $10 for others. All proceeds will be donated the Japan Society.

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Wednesday, April 27, 7:00 pm, Wang Center Theater 


May 3, 2011

Fishers of Men

fishers of menRanjan Kamath's film examines the forced reconversion of Christians in rural India back to Hinduism. For over a century, a substantial number of Adivasis, or tribal peoples of the Chottanagpur plateau, have been converting to Christianity in order to free themselves from the bonded labor and feudal oppression of the Hindu caste system, despite forced reconversions, threats, violence, and murders of their leaders and missionaries by fundamentalist Hindus. By examining this conflict between fundamentalist Hinduism and Christianity, director Ranjan Kamath exposes and punctures the myth of a single, unified India and creates an important, but neglected, dialogue about inter-religious relations and the urban rural divide in South Asia. Followed by discussion with director Ranjan Kamath. Free admission.

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