Don Ascher is a young American living in Kyoto in the 1970s. He is a student of Japanese. He also teaches English, works at a shabu-shabu restaurant, and hangs out in the company of gangsters, hostesses, housewives, tea teachers, and fellow foreigners. Set amidst the timeless beauty of the ancient capital and its garish modern entertainments, this collection of fanciful episodes from Don’s life is a window into Japanese culture and a chronicle of romance and human connections.
The US-based independent film scholar and movie critic specializing in Chinese cinema, Karen Ma’s most recent work takes the form of creative and inspiring interviews with 7 young Chinese film directors, revealing new trends that are not fully acknowledged in Western scholarship. Many balinghou (born in post-1980s) filmmakers are grassroots artists from smaller towns or in rural China not formally trained at film academies.
The samurai films of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa are set in the past, but they tell us much about the present, as do his crime stories, romances, medical dramas, and arthouse films. His movies are beloved for their timeless protagonists and haunting vistas of old Japan, but we haven’t yet fully grasped everything they can teach us about modern Japan. Kurosawa’s directorial career began in 1943 and ended in 1993, spanning 50 of Japan’s most transformative years, and his movies evolved as Japan redefined and reinvented itself over that time.
In 1956, the Senguptas travel from Calcutta to rural Malaya to start afresh. In their new hamlet of anonymity—a small settlement on the edge of a British rubber plantation—the couple gradually forget their troubled pasts and form new ties. But this second home is not entirely free and gentle. A complex, racially charged society, it is on the brink of independence even as communist insurgents hover on the periphery. How much can a newcomer meddle before it starts to destroy him?
In Water Thicker Than Blood, poet and professor George Uba traces his life as a Japanese American born in the late 1940s, a period of insidious anti-Japanese racism, even following the wartime incarceration of 120,000 Japanese, two-thirds of whom were American-born citizens. His beautiful, impressionistic memoir chronicles how he, like many Sansei (and Nisei) across the United States, grappled with dislocation and trauma, while seeking acceptance and belonging.
Ethical Encounters is an exploration of the intersection of feminism, human rights, and memory to illuminate how visual practices of recollecting violent legacies in Bangladeshi cinema can conjure a global cinematic imagination for the advancement of humanity.
Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester to visit an old friend, he thinks he sees a business opportunity, and decides to stay on. Now fifty-five, PK has fallen out of love with life. His business is struggling and his wife Geeta is lonely, pining for the India she’s left behind.