January 21, 2013
This is a documentary that chronicles artist and activist Ai Weiwei as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government. Follows Ai "from the close of the 2008 Beijing Olympics (for which he helped design the acclaimed 'Bird's Nest' stadium) to his arrest and 81-day detention in 2011".
Everyone who stands up against the state takes a risk. Sometimes the risks are great sometimes not. In China I'd say the risks are great. Suppressing the voice of the people is certainly important to modern nation states, either China or elsewhere. All of those who stand up against the various forms of oppression are very brave. Ai is one who stood up. However, now, we cannot know his status. We can only hope for the best.
Askwith Media Library (Both DVD and Blu-Ray) 58939-D, 58921-B
91 minutes 2012
August 09, 2011
The gods come home
China's leap of faith
"After decades of Communist oppression and neglect, Buddhist temples are now thriving across China ... can far older spiritual traditions survive in such a rapidly evolving society? This program addresses those questions as it visits monasteries and temples in Shanghai and in rural, economically disadvantaged areas. Following the daily practices of a frugal and soft-spoken monk, the film also features wealthy, high-profile Buddhist officials and interviews China's Minister of Religious Affairs, who encourages Buddhism but frowns on folk religions."
The Chinese seems to view religions with a concerned eye. Most of the elders also are wary of joining or supporting the religions. The Chinese government and Buddhist monks have developed a certain amount of very profitable iconography mixing communism and Buddhism. Many Chinese are joining and donating causing the government to pay a little more attention to the religion's growth. On a side note religions have to register with the state and certain aspects are overseen by the state. The mix of Chinese government and Buddhism resembles to some degree American government and Christianity. ~Mike
Released in 2008
Askwith Media Library 54986-D
May 09, 2011
The fall of womenland
A documentary on the unique sexual culture of the Mosuo people, a small minority situated in the southwest of China, and one of the last remaining matriarchal societies in the world. Without a formal marriage contract, the Mosuo traditionally build relationships based on free love and sexual satisfaction ("walking marriages"). But can the sexual liberty and power of the Mosuo women survive as modern Chinese society slowly encroaches their ancestral land? The film explores the present reality for the Mosuo people as well as the dangers that threaten their inherited way of life.
Encroaching modern society is plowing under many cultures. The best we can hope for is documentation before these cultures disappear. This is a very in depth look into the struggle of the local population. ~Mike
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 53017-D