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Troubled Ocean: Filmmakers Imagine the Pacific

Visions and Voices

In a one-day festival, a series of screenings and discussions with filmmakers, including the critically acclaimed director John Sayles, will address themes of the Pacific, looking specifically at the Philippines, Fiji and Korea.

The Pacific has a vivid hold on the European and American imagination as a paradise, as a vast region of exploration, as a mystery. It has also been a place of conquest, colonization and war. In a one-day festival, screenings and discussions with filmmakers John Sayles and Vilsoni Hereniko, scholars Viet Nguyen and David Kang and members of the community will address themes of the Pacific. The juxtaposition of three films dealing, respectively, with the Philippines, Fiji and Korea will connect seemingly disparate times and places of the Pacific under a common history.

Schedule of Events:

12:20 p.m.: The Land Has Eyes
Directed by Vilsoni Hereniko, Fiji, 87 minutes
Vilsoni Hereniko will present his film, The Land Has Eyes, the first indigenous feature film written and directed by a Fiji citizen. The film explores the British colonial administration in Rotuma (the Fiji Islands) during the 1960s and ’70s and the political corruption and local violence that resulted from the colonial administration’s lack of understanding about the local people and customs.
2:15 p.m.: Amigo
Directed by John Sayles, 124 minutes
Renowned independent filmmaker John Sayles will present his film Amigo, the first American feature film to tackle a crucial but forgotten chapter in American history—the American colonization of the Philippines, which cost one million Filipino lives and was as divisive to Americans as the Vietnam War.
4:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion and Reading with John Sayles and Vilsoni Hereniko
Featuring filmmakers John Sayles and Vilsoni Hereniko. Moderated by Professor Viet Nguyen. John Sayles will also read from his novel A Moment in the Sun, about the Filipino struggle against the American colonial presence.
5:30 p.m.: Reception, Queen’s Courtyard
6:15 p.m.: Sunny
Directed by Lee Jun-ik, 126 minutes
Lee Jun-ik’s Sunny is a big-budget Korean epic about the Korean participation as an American ally in the Vietnam War, little known to Americans but fundamental to the transformation of South Korea. A panel discussion with Korean war veterans moderated by David Kang of the Korean Studies Center will follow the screening.

Organized by Janet Hoskins (Anthropology) and Viet Nguyen (English and American Studies and Ethnicity). Co-sponsored by American Studies and Ethnicity, Asian Pacific American Student Services, the Center for International Studies, the Center for Transpacific Studies and the Korean Studies Center.

Amigo Image: Mary Cybulski
Courtesy of Variance Films/Anarchists' Convention