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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Conversations about Race: Asian-Americans

Asian-Americans in the Argument (Ethan Bronner)
(source: NY Times)
no copyright infringement intended

Racial experiences in America. The way race is usually discussed does not reflect the vast range of experiences of discrimination and opportunity in this country. Need is to embrace diverse voices — and also to work harder to understand and dismantle the biases that persist around. An Op-Doc about the Asian-American specific experience shows the way these people approach such difficult themes, from a position of both vulnerability and strength (more in: NY Times: A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race).

A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race
(NY Times Op-Doc)

A few words about Geeta Gandbhir and Michèle Stephenson, the directors of this Op-Doc.

Geeta Gandbhir is a film editor and film director, who won two Emy's for her work; she co-directed four documentaries so far: Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. in 2014 (a painter obscured by the pop-art movement chronicled here by his contemporaries and by his own son, Robert de Niro - I must confess with pride of being one of those happy few who saw some of his paintings, in a cine club in Tribeca) - Pupies behind Bars in 2014 (the story of four inmates who have committed crimes against society, four veterans who have given their livelihoods to protect their country, and the second chance that they are each given through the love of a puppy) - A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers in 2015 (three women in an all female, predominantly Muslim unit of police officers sent to post-earthquake Haiti as UN Peacekeepers for one year) - The Conversation (in post-production); I found an interview taken to her in Nirali magazine.

Michèle Stephenson is a filmmaker and human rights activist focused on telling stories about communities that have been neglected by the mainstream media and contributing this way to the American narrative mosaic (wiki); she directed four movies so far: Faces of Change in 2005 (five people from five continents tell how they face racism and discrimination in their respective communities) -Slaying Goliath in 2008 (a charged look at 10 days in the life of a boy's fifth grade basketball club from Harlem, New York) - Coming Home: The Dry Storm in 2010 (in the wake of Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans City Council decides to demolish public housing leaving thousands of people without homes; staging a courageous battle that reminds us of how much home means to us all, residents became activists, attracting the attention of international human rights monitors) - American Promise in 2013 (an intimate documentary following the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons; it won a special jury prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival); an interesting discussion about American Promise in the Huffington Post.

As soon as I find more movies of these two filmmakers to watch them I will come back.

(Cinema asiatic)

(Zoon Politikon)


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