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Feb. 13, 2009
Contact: Pamela Bray, Confucius Institute, (913) 897-8687.

Confucius Institute sponsors Chinese film festival

LAWRENCE — The Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas and the Kansas City Chinese Association will present the 2009 Kansas City Chinese Film Festival. The theme is “Families in Modern China: An Exploration of What Makes a Family in Changing China.”

Contemporary Chinese films, with English subtitles, will be shown at 10 a.m. each Saturday, Feb. 28-March 28, at the Rio Theatre, 7204 W. 80th St., in Overland Park. Admission is free; a $1 donation is suggested. Seating is limited. After each screening, the audience is invited to participate in bilingual group discussions led by area experts in Chinese studies.

Saturday, Feb. 28
“Warm Spring” (Nuan chun, 2003). Directed by Wulan Tana. Family roles and responsibilities are questioned when an elderly father welcomes a foster child into his home despite the adamant disapproval of his son and daughter-in-law. Introduction and discussion: John Kennedy, assistant professor of political science at KU.

Saturday, March 7
“You and Me” (Wo men lia, 2005). Directed by Liwen Ma. Winner of best director and best actress at China’s most prestigious Golden Rooster Awards, this film explores nontraditional family relationships, in this moving story of an unlikely bond that develops between a cantankerous old woman and her feisty young tenant. Introduction and discussion: Jie Zhang, assistant professor of linguistics at KU.

Saturday, March 14
“Still Life” (Sanxia haoren, 2006). Directed by Zhang Ke Jia. Using high-definition digital video photography, Jia creates a compelling drama about families affected by the Three Gorges Dam project. Introduction and discussion: Yang Lu, assistant professor of history at KU.

Saturday, March 21
“Together” (He Ni Zai Yi Qi, 2002). Directed by Chen Kaige. A compelling story of the challenges Xiaochun and his father face as they leave their provincial town and begin life in Beijing. As father and son, they struggle to succeed in this new environment as they confront the fragility of their small family unit and finally re-strengthen the family bond. Introduction and discussion: Jessey Choo, assistant professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Saturday, March 28
“The Post-Modern Life of My Aunt” (Yi ma de hou xian dai sheng huo, 2006). Directed by Ann Hui. Generational differences are explored as an aging single woman living in Shanghai attempts to maintain a sophisticated lifestyle, with family at a distance, until circumstances compel her to reconnect with her family. Introduction and discussion: Xiang Ping, visiting scholar at the Confucius Institute, and Sheree Willis, executive director of the Confucius Institute.

Films may contain adult themes, images and language. Parents should be aware that some films may be inappropriate for young children.

For more information, visit the Confucius Institute Web site or the Kansas City Chinese Association Web site.

Principal funding for the film festival is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization. Visit www.kansashumanities.org for more information.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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