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Archive: Winter 2007

Stories of Migration:
Transnational Documentary

A Series of Documentary films by
Pei-Chyi Wan, Anita Chang
and Tânia Cypriano

Sponsored by:
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles
Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles
UC Irvine International Center for Writing and Translation
UC Irvine Center for Ethnography
UC Irvine Department of Anthropology

Documentary film is the medium in which these three filmmakers span the generational, linguistic, political-cultural divide that opens up in families and their fantasies of who they are and where they come from when an immigration to the United States takes place. Documentary form, in the hands of these three women filmmakers is deeply personal, intensively experimental and rigorously historical.

These films show that the distances that separate the United States from Asia or Latin America have become highly dynamic and elastic. Economic and political survival compelled these women and their families, from different classes and different continents to make hard, apparently inexorable choices. The recent history of immigration and immigrants often define the lives of new Americans and the families they leave behind.

These filmmakers give us a new perspective on the transnational and the immigrant experience and they do it with humor, compassion and intelligence.

—UC Irvine Professor of Film and Media Studies Catherine Liu, Curator


Thursday, January 24 • Reception 6:30pm / Screening 7pm

No Seasons and
62 Years and 6,500 Miles Between

An introduction and comments on No Seasons will be provided by
curator Catherine Liu, Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine


No SeasonsNo Seasons

No Seasons is a documentary chronicling three generations of women and one continuous, if disrupted and fractured, route of migration from China to Taiwan, to the United States and back to Taiwan. It is a Diaspora tale about an outland family that came from Mainland China to Taiwan many years ago and features fragmentary images about the journey of time.

Directed by Pei-Chyi Wan. 2002, Taiwan • 60 minutes • DVD
In Chinese with English subtitles

62 Years And 6,500 Miles Between62 Years and 6,500 Miles Between

Director Anita Wen-Shing Chang to appear
in person for Q&A session

62 Years and 6,500 Miles Between reworks the documentary
form with its own set of expectations, while investigating historical, social and political phenomena via the personal. This film examines how a postcolonial people negotiate the memory and translation essential
to the reconstruction and ultimately reclamation of a personal and
national history. Director Chang discovers the political sensibility
of her grandmother through the intimate details remembered by those closely associated with her, her award-winning autobiographical essay
published by the Taipei Women’s Rights Organization, and her own memories. As the film progresses, we hear history told from various perspectives. Eventually, twists and turns develop—the expectation that the camera is a reliable witness, or that the translation is accurate, the many facts that her grandmother left out of her biography,
or that the biography was even written by her grandmother.

Directed by Anita Wen-Shing Chang. 2005, Taiwan/USA

Thursday, January 31 • 7pm

Grandma Has A Video Camera

Grandma Has A Video Camera

Director Tânia Cypriano scheduled to appear in person for Q&A session

Modern technology, from jet aircraft and the telephone to the internet and cable television, has helped to shorten the distance between one’s country of origin and the new land. And for grandma Elda, the video camera does the job as well. Grandma Has a Video Camera portrays the lives of a family of Brazilian immigrants in the United States for almost 20 years, using their own home video footage. Enchantment turns into disillusionment, idealization to conformity, as images and voices depict how newly arriving immigrants see their new world and struggle to establish a final home. Grandma Has a Video Camera is fast-paced and funny, as well as an endearing take on the issues of migration, displacement and the search for an identity.

Directed by Tânia Cypriano. 2007, USA • 60 minutes • DVD
In Portuguese with English subtitles





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