April 27th, 2013 – Troubled Ocean: Filmmakers Imagine the Pacific, film screenings & discussions with John Sayles (Amigo), Vilsoni Hereniko (The Land Has Eyes)

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.

Filmmakers Imagine the pacific poster


12:20 PM: 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 PM: 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 PM: 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.

5:15 PM: Reception, Queen’s Courtyard

6 PM: 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.

Watch the interview with John Sayles and Vilsoni Hereniko, moderated by Viet Nguyen