Ed and Sharifea

WHATEVER IT TAKES: There Can Only Be One

What’s more interesting in a documentary? A story about one person or many? If you capture the lives of four or five individuals, it seems like you would have an interesting mix of narrative threads to follow. But if you follow just one person around, you might not get enough action to fill out your film.

HOLLYWOOD CHINESE screens in Manhattan

HOLLYWOOD CHINESE starts in Manhattan on May 2 at Quad Cinema. Chat with Tony Award-winning playwright and HOLLYWOOD CHINESE cast member David Henry Hwang in person for post-screening Q & A, May 4, Sunday, 2:50pm screening only. Limited seating, advance tickets advised!

BOLINAO 52 Screening & Discussion

KQED Education Network and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley present a screening and discussion of Bolinao 52, a Vietnamese boat people documentary on Thursday, May 1, at 7:00 pm in Sibley Auditorium (Bechtel Engineering Center) on the UC Berkeley campus. This free screening will feature a discussion with the filmmaker Duc Nguyen.

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Memoirs of a Superfan, Vol. 3.5

During the 2008 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, I sat down with director Gina Kim to discuss her latest film, NEVER FOREVER, which is currently playing in San Francisco at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.

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WHATEVER IT TAKES: We got into Sundance!!!

Well, kind of… I should explain. Since July 2007, WHATEVER IT TAKES has been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. Besides CAAM, Sundance has been our other major backer, providing us with not only a large grant, but also much needed creative and technical assistance.

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Film Festival Pictures and Videos

SFIAAFF has wrapped up. Everyone here at CAAM had a wonderful time and met so many great people. We hope you had the same experience! Check out the videos and pictures that we and festival goers submitted over the past few weeks.

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Behind the Scenes: The Story Behind the Documentary OUT OF THE POISON TREE

In 1977, director and producer Beth Pielert was sitting in a Hebrew school class reading about Anne Frank who perished in the Holocaust and was told never to let something like the Holocaust happen again. But even at just age seven and 13,000 miles away, genocide was happening all over again in Cambodia.Years later Pielert met a former Nuremberg prosecutor who sparked a theme for a film – people who were creators of justice after a great injustice had occurred. After being introduced to one of the founders of the Yale Cambodian Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, Pielert began researching films that had been made about Cambodia and discovered many detailed accounts of the genocide, but none that explored the forgiveness or reconciliation process – this was 1998.

Fast forward to 2006 where the subjects and characters of Pielert’s documentary, OUT OF THE POISON TREE, take us on a journey toward understanding what happened in Cambodia and how people have come to forgive after ‘The Killing Fields.’ It follows Thida Buth Mam, an American survivor of the Khmer Rouge, as she returns to her home country with hopes of unlocking the mystery of her father’s disappearance in 1975. Mam’s quest intersects with many silent voices: widows, survivors from remote villages, monks and even former perpetrators. Her search for the truth stirs up fractured pieces of one family’s nightmare, unearths an unimaginable heartbreak and ultimately shines light on a people’s broken silence. OUT OF THE POISON TREE is even more relevant today as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal proceedings continue on, prosecuting those who committed serious crimes during the 1975-1979 regime.For more information and related classroom activities, download or print the nine-page OUT OF THE POISON TREE Educator’s Guide . The documentary is available on DVD for educational purchase or rental from CAAM Educational Distribution.For other similar films about Cambodia, check out REFUGEE, THE FLUTE PLAYER and MONKEY DANCE.