International Studies & Programs

Film Collection

The Asian Studies Center has an extensive collection of fiction and non‑fiction films available to borrow. Visit the center or contact us for more information.

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Arirang Country/Region of Focus: Korea
Length: 056min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: Korean Americans are a long-time, widely dispersed presence in the United States. Yet for most Americans they remain a people without a story. When Journey begins in 1903, the Koreans had no sooner arrived in America than Korea was taken over by Japan, which attempted to stamp out Korean language and culture and reduce Koreans to second-class Japanese. The Korean soujourners became American settlers. They organized around the cause of independence for Korea while simultaneously sinking roots deeply into the new land. As they achieved astonishing success in American terms, they kept the idea of an independent Korea alive throughout Japan's half-century occupation of the Korean peninsula.

Camp Arirang Country/Region of Focus: Korea
Length: 028min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: For decades, since the Korean War, thousands of Korean women have been working as prostitutes for American soldiers. In Camp Arirang, the filmmakers explore the lives of the sex workers and their fatherless Amerasian children who live in U.S. camp towns throughout South Korea. Through interviews with the workers, soldiers, and scholars, as well as contemporary and archival footage, the film reveals the story of how the Korean government and the U.S. military have cooperated in the sale and control of women's bodies. Featured is a charismatic ex-prostitute, Yon Ja Kim, who now devotes her life to the welfare of older sex workers and their biracial children.

The Crossing -- One Family's Daring Rescue Country/Region of Focus: Korea
Length:
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.The daring resue by a South Korean family of their lost relatives in North Korea. For forty-one years Helie Lee’s grandmother, Hongyong Baek, never gave up hope that her eldest son, Yong Woon, who disappeared during the Korean War was still alive. Her last words to him were “come back to me unharmed, I beg you, I will be here waiting.” Then in 1991 an unexpected letter arrived informing her that her son was still alive. Two years later as economic conditions deteriorated in North Korea, all communication stopped. In 1996, Lee’s first book, Still Life with Rice, was published. Without realizing that her book would be a success in the United States and throughout Asia, she had not anticipated that the book’s references to her uncle would put his life in jeopardy. Since Hongyong Baek was eighty-five and had been hospitalized twice by poor health, the family moved quickly to rescue her son.

Korea Country/Region of Focus: Korea
Length: 021min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English
Beshkempir: The Adopted Son Country/Region of Focus: Kyrgyzstan
Length: 081min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Kyrgyzstani with English subtitles

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Description: A happy-go-lucky Kyrgyz lad (Mirlan Abdykalykov) learns he is adopted as he begins his transition to adulthood.

Hmong Memory at the Crossroads Country/Region of Focus: Laos
Length: 105min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language:

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Description: “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads” weaves the stories of three generations of Hmong refugees in the Midwest and France. Liachoua Naolu Lee, a Hmong-American from Rochester Hills, revisits his past as a former refugee and son of Hmong veterans of the French Indochina War and of the American Secret War in Laos.

Beneath Everest - Nepal Reborn Country/Region of Focus: Nepal
Length: 090min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: Nepli with English and German Subtitles

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Description: From deep in the Himalaya mountains where the Maoist soldiers greet the morning sun as they warm up, to the cities where a powerful movement for change explodes on the streets, people of Nepal have experienced moments they never thought possible. Filmed over four years during the height of the insurgency and the historic transition of Nepal from a 240-year old monarchy to a Republic nation, 'Beneath Everest' is a journey that exposes the grass root realities of Nepal's ten-year war. The film critically questions the use and continuation of violence and challenges its justifications. Directed by a native Nepali, the film encourages Nepalis silenced by fear to tell their stories, and challenges the to reflect on their fears, triumphs and hopes as Nepal begins the long journey towards peace.

The Gurkhas Country/Region of Focus: Nepal
Length: 050min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: Here is the surprising history of the fighters called "the ideal infantrymen" by the British commanders fortunate enough to lead them in battle.

Nepal Health Development Project Country/Region of Focus: Nepal
Length:
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English
Leper: Life Beyond Stigma Country/Region of Focus: Nepal
Length: 023min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: Since antiquity, leprosy has struck fear into human beings. Seen has contagious, mutilating and incurable, leprosy continues to alienate those who contract it from their families and communities. Leper provides a rare and intimate glimpse into a contemporary society of lepers in a remote village in Nepal. Villagers speak openly and emotionally about their relationship to their sickness, to the "healthy" outside community outside the village boundaries, and the myriad stigmas and misunderstandings which surround a disease that has marked their bodies and their lives. The villagers speak eloquently of how, after much struggle and hardship, they build new lives for themselves, recreating family and community in the context of this disease. Their poignant and revealing stories offer heartfelt reflections on societal fears and aversions to sickness, bodily differences, and death.