25% Off Back to School Sale: Top Selling & New Asian American DVDs from CAAM

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Just in time for back to school, CAAM is giving educators and institutions a 25 percent off discount to our films for educators.

CAAM’s catalog of films includes more than 250 titles, constituting the country’s largest collection of Asian American films and videos for educational distribution. Our award-winning documentaries, personal stories, dramas and experimental works reflect the rich history and diversity of Asian people in the U.S. and global diaspora.<

CAAM’s support – financial, production, distribution, networking, and professional development – empowers filmmakers to achieve their full potential, removing barriers to participation and providing essential support to acquire or retain means of production and distribution. The result is more filmmakers dedicated to expressing the rich diversity of the Asian American experience able to build and sustain careers. Our films for educators allows the conversation to continue in classrooms across the country.

Use discount code “backtoschool” to receive 25% off any film for educators, now through the end of September. Please contact Tabitha Owyang with any questions: distribution[at]caamedia.org.

Top Selling CAAM Titles 

Children of the Camps (directed by Satsuki Ina)

Children of the CampsThis powerful documentary shares the experiences, cultural and familial issues, and the long internalized grief and shame felt by six Japanese Americans who were only children when they were incarcerated in concentration camps during World War II. Of the 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent who were interned, more than half were children. This video program is the result of a three-year project by Dr. Satsuki Ina, a university professor and family therapist, who has been conducting a series of three-day workshops for over ten years for former fellow internees. With the expertise of community-conscious filmmakers, she was able to film a workshop retreat in order to share the profound and proven healing experience with other Japanese Americans and the greater community at large. Unlike any other internment film, CHILDREN OF THE CAMPS examines how this early trauma manifests itself in their adult lives.

Morning Sun (directed by Carma Hinton, Geremie Barme and Richard Gordon)

Morning SunMORNING SUN attempts, in the space of two hours, to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (c.1964-1976). It provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes – and reflected in the hearts and minds – of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s. However, the documentary is not a comprehensive or chronological history of the Cultural Revolution; nor is it a study of elite politics or of student factionalism. The film essays rather a psychological history, attempting a cinematic account of experiences and emotions represented by the people, events and ardor of the period. The directors create an epic collage of interviews and archival footage detailing the emotional topography of the time and the period’s enduring legacy.

The Gate of Heavenly Peace (directed by Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon)

Gate of Heavenly PeaceDuring the spring of 1989, nightly news accounts filmed in Tiananmen Square enthralled viewers worldwide as they watched the largest popular demonstration in modern Chinese history unfold. This riveting and explosive documentary revisits these events and explores the complex political process that led to the protests and eventual Beijing massacre of June 4th. THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE was directed by Carma Hinton, who was born and raised in China, and Richard Gordon, who has been involved with many films about China as a director, producer or cinematographer. With an international group of scholars and participants in the events of 1989, they have spent six years investigating this important and intriguing story.

Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (directed by Eric Paul Fournier)

1471Fred Korematsu was probably never more American than when he resisted, and then challenged in court, the forced internment of Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps, during World War II.This documentary takes a personal look at Korematsu, a 1999 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, who attempted to conceal his identity as a Japanese American, became alienated from this family and community, and then made the complex decision to become a legal “test case” against the U.S. government’s forced removal of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry from their homes to the camps. Although he lost his landmark Supreme Court case in 1944, he never lost his indignation and resolve. A well-paced intermix of testimony archival footage, reenactments and interviews with members of the Coram Nobis legal team exposes the shocking story of how U.S. government attorneys deliberately suppressed evidence in the Supreme Court case which led to Korematsu’s conviction in 1944. This moving and engrossing documentary reveals the untold story of the 40-year legal fight to vindicate Korematsu – one that finally turned a civil injustice into a civil rights victory.

Family Gathering (directed by Lise Yasui)

0661Silence – the stuff of assumptions and confusion – is a legacy inherited by many grandchildren of Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Masuo Yasui, a respected figure of Hood River Valley, Oregon was arrested by the FBI as a “potentially dangerous enemy alien.” In FAMILY GATHERING, Lise Yasui, a granddaughter that Masuo never knew, shows that courageous journeys into the past can bring greater understanding of family and personal history to the present.
 
 

Roots in the Sand (directed by Jayasri Majumdar Hart)

1731ROOTS IN THE SAND is a multi-generational portrait of the nearly to 5,000 Punjabi men who settled in Southern California’s Imperial Valley, just north of the Mexican border, a century ago. Seeking to earn enough money to return to their homes in India, they instead encountered not just abysmal wages and working conditions, but also anti-miscegenation and anti-immigration laws that prevented Punjabi women from joining them in the U.S. The award-winning documentary details how these pioneers pooled their resources, leased land and grew their own crops even as they married Mexican women and started new families. Through found footage, archival and family photographs, and personal and public documents, filmmaker Jayasri Hart tells the touching and inspirational story of a community that grew out of a struggle for economic survival in the face of hardship and prejudice.

The Flute Player (directed by Jocelyn Glatzer)

0751Nearly 30 years ago, Pol Pot overtook Cambodia and more than one million people perished in the Khmer Rouge’s brutal “killing fields.” Many others were forced into unspeakable acts in order to survive; Arn Chorn Pond is one of these survivors. Now, after living in the United States for 20 years, Arn is a musician and activist, traveling the country and giving lectures on human rights. He is also on a mission to reconcile the demons of his past. THE FLUTE PLAYER chronicles his return to Cambodia, where he has launched a master musician project to revive the traditional music that disappeared under the Khmer Rouge. A complex and moving film, it reveals the history and tradition lost to Arn’s generation and the search for healing and forgiveness in a country wounded by war.

Searching for Asian America (various directors)

1781Through intimate profiles of individuals and communities from across the country, these three 30-minute programs offers fresh perspectives on how Asian Americans continually redefine and empower themselves in contemporary society.

OKLAHOMA HOME

Director: Sapana Sakya

Martin Bautista and Jeffrey Lim are Filipino immigrant doctors who practice in the predominantly Caucasian, hog-farming American heartland of Guymon, Oklahoma. Tempered by both pride in their heritage and the pressure to assimilate, their daily lives brim with the challenges and rewards of being pioneers on a new frontier.

ANGRY LITTLE ASIAN GIRL

Director: Kyung Yu

Creator of the underground comic and website “Angry Little Girls,” Lela Lee also enjoys a successful acting career in film and television. The same fiery attitude and unyielding principles that distinguish her graphic projects fuel her on-screen pursuits, testifying to the ambitions and hopes of a Korean American talent expressing her identity every way possible.

THE GOVERNOR

Director: Donald Young

The highest elected official of Asian descent on the mainland, Gary Locke has blazed a unique trail marked by the benefits and burdens of being “the first.” From his inauspicious beginnings as the son of Chinese immigrants to his becoming the governor of his home state, Washington, this segment chronicles the unprecedented rise to power of Asian America’s most visible political leader.

 

Wet Sand: Voices from L.A. (directed by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson)

2261Filmmaker Dai Sil Kim-Gibson explores the aftermath of the 1992 LA Civil Unrest in her film WET SAND. Her groundbreaking 1993 documentary SA-I-GU stands as one of the crucial texts to offer a Korean American perspective on the events surrounding the Los Angeles riots – an invaluable discussion tool for promoting better understanding of the socio-political factors that played into one of the grimmest moments in United States race relations. With WET SAND, Kim-Gibson revisits Los Angeles to learn what changes have occurred since then, only to discover that living conditions have deteriorated and that few remedies have been administered to the communities most stricken. Through interviews with a multi-ethnic set of first-hand witnesses, this essential follow-up probes deeper into the racial and economic issues that not only shaped the climate of 1992 Los Angeles, but continue to affect all Americans today.

A Dream in Doubt (directed by Tami Yeager)

2811Four days after the 9/11 attacks, Balbir Singh Sodhi was gunned down at his Phoenix area gas station by a man named Frank Roque. To Roque, Balbir Sodhi’s beard and turban—articles of his Sikh faith—symbolized the face of America’s new enemy. Seeking retaliation for 9/11, Roque killed Sodhi and went on to shoot at a Lebanese American man and fire multiple rounds of ammunition outside an Afghan American family’s home. A DREAM IN DOUBT follows Rana Singh Sodhi, Balbir’s brother, as he attempts to fight the hate threatening his family and community. The Sodhis had fled ethnic violence in India to pursue their version of the American dream. But less than a year after Balbir’s murder, Sukhpal Sodhi, Rana’s next-eldest brother, is killed in mysterious circumstances while driving a cab in San Francisco. Nine months later, Rana’s friend Avtar Chiera is shot by three men who yell, “Go back to where you came from!” Three weeks after Avtar’s shooting, another friend, Inderjit Singh, is physically assaulted and threatened with death while working at a convenience store. These incidents receive little to no coverage in the U.S. media, and a national dialogue concerning post-9/11 hate crimes and ethnic profiling is sorely missing. Wanting justice for his brothers’ murders, Rana is motivated towards social action. He demands that America live up to its ideals of equality. A DREAM IN DOUBT explores the complexities of race, religion, immigration, and the American Dream. In the end, the film demonstrates that hope and courage have the power to overcome hate.

New Titles

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm (Directed by Jim Choi)

Changing_Season_2-330x220“How many harvests do you have in you?” is the perennial echo that reverberates across the Masumoto Family farm. Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate, and sensei, David “Mas” Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father’s work boots. Mas’ hopes and hesitations for the future are shored up with his daughter’s return, as the family must navigate the implications of Mas’ 60th birthday and triple bypass surgery. The film is interspliced with moments of Nikiko’s razor sharp meditations on her family’s internment during WWII and her role as a queer, progressive farmer in the Central Valley.

Don’t Lose Your Soul: The Music of Anthony Brown & Mark Izu (Directed by Jim Choi)

Mark-and-Anthony-jam-in-studio-330x220An intimate portrait of two godfathers of the Asian American Jazz movement, drummer Anthony Brown and bassist Mark Izu. Forged in the Bay Area civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s and built on the history of Japanese internment, they fused centuries old Asian music traditions with the freedom of a quintessentially American musical form: jazz. Izu and Brown come together with a group of longtime musical friends for one electrifying night of music at Yoshi’s jazz club, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Asian American jazz festival and honor three decades of music they helped define for future generations.

I Am (directed by Sonali Gulati)

I-AM-still1-330x220I Am chronicles the journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns to Delhi, eleven years later, to re-open what was once home, and finally confronts the loss of her mother whom she never came out to.  As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family truly means, in a landscape where being gay was until recently a criminal and punishable offense. A 56-minute version of I AM is also available. Please contact distribution@caamedia.org for more information.

 

Operation Popcorn (directed by David Grabias)

the-filmmakers-approach-to-opera-330x220The Hmong people of Laos were our allies in the Vietnam War; with over 200,000 forced to flee and settle in California as refugees. Nearly 40 years later, 10 of their elders were arrested by the FBI, accused of trying to buy arms so they could return to their homeland and overthrow the Lao government. OPERATION POPCORN tells their epic story from the perspective of Locha Thao, the alleged ringleader. When a video is smuggled out of Laos showing that the present-day communist government continues to persecute the Hmong still living there, Locha and the elders in America lobby the UN for aid. They discover that few US politicians care about stragglers from a decades-old conflict. But then a shady arms dealer contacts Locha, offering a way for the Hmong left behind in Laos to defend themselves. Locha believes that the dealer has been sent by the CIA, and falls into a web of deceit and intrigue. Showing how the aftershocks of war reverberate across continents and generations, OPERATION POPCORN is a true-crime tale of how an opportunistic community activist is transformed into an international terrorist.

BROWSE CAAM’S FULL CATALOG HERE.