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The Memory Project

On November 1 and 2, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute invites you to attend film screenings and discussions featuring acclaimed filmmaker Wu Wenguang and his colleagues.

When:
November 1, 2016 7:00pm to November 2, 2016 5:30pm
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Registration required.
 
Co-sponsored by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society; the C.V. Starr East Asian Library; the M.A. Program in Film and Media Studies, Columbia University; the Confucius Institute at Columbia University
 
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Tuesday, November 1
 
7:00-10:00 p.m.      Film Screening and Discussion
 
Self-portrait: Dying at 47 KM (77 min. /2015); Directed, edited by Zhang Mengqi
Filmmaker’s Words:  This is the fifth film in my “Village 47 km” film series since 2011. In 2015, my grandfather passed away.  What does it mean for me to be without my grandpa?  Because of my grandpa’s passing, I started to search for stories about death: the improper deaths in the past, strange deaths, deaths from hatred… How can I understand death in this village where there have been so many different kinds of deaths?
 
Investigating My Father (80 min. /2016); Directed, edited by Wu Wenguang
Filmmaker’s Words:  This film is made by a son to investigate his father’s history.  The son asks how the father changed from a man of the "old society" to a man of the "new society" after 1949. This “son” is myself. The film is a story between my father and myself.
 
Speakers: Lydia Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University; Liu Xiaolei, Film Director; Wu Wenguang, Film Director; Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University; Zhang Mengqi, Film Director; Zhang Ping, Film Director
 
Wednesday, November 2
 
4:00-5:30 p.m.   Public Panel
 
Speakers: Jane Gaines, Professor of Film, Columbia University School of the Arts; Lydia Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University; Liu Xiaolei, Film Director; Richard Peña, Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia University School of the Arts; Wu Wenguang, Film Director; Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University; Zhang Mengqi, Film Director; Zhang Ping, Film Director
 
6:00-8:30 p.m.    Film Screening and Discussion
 
No Land (40 min. /2015); Directed, edited by Zhang Ping
Filmmaker’s words:  An abandoned village, a man digging a grave for himself, an illiterate former “rightist” and “anti-revolutionary” who experienced the absurdity of history, an old man, my father. This is my first film, and I did it in an unconventional way. I used still photography and sound to construct this film, to experiment whether I could build a narrative out of them. This unconventional way of expression allowed me to deepen understanding on the audio-visual medium.
 
A True Believer (80 min. /2015); Directed, edited by Liu Xiaolei
Filmmaker’s words:  It took me five years to make this film. I began in the style of Direct Cinema, following the members of the anti-pickpocket organization “Falcon” and asking them about their memories of a hero named “Cannon” who had passed away in action with “Falcon”. Yet, as the filming went out, my attitude began to change. At first, I had been eager to participate in their actions, using the camera to capture the thieves and punish them, while dreaming of being a hero to escape my mediocre life. Yet after witness the mutual harm done by members of the Falcon and the thieves, especially after a Uyghur boy appeared in my life, I began to turn my attention to the thieves, to ask where there were thieves in the society to begin with, and where their hatred towards the society came from. Moving away from Direct Cinema to using subjective monologues to express my own contradictory feelings towards the Falcon and the Uyghur boy, I ask how one should position himself in a world where the line between right and wrong is blurred, and whether an ordinary person’s dream of heroism could be used as a tool to change the society.
 
Speakers:  Lydia Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University; Liu Xiaolei, Film Director; Wu Wenguang, Film Director; Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University; Zhang Mengqi, Film Director; Zhang Ping, Film Director

 

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