Thursday, May 30, 2013

the rocket (bang fai)

this film screened at siff this year (seattle international film festival.)  and it's the first time i've seen a Lao language film at siff, so it was pretty exciting.  here is the preview - (it only showed twice - and friday's showing was sold out.)

the only confusing thing about the movie is that the characters are clearly not Lao, (from their dress, and a cultural tradition regarding twins that sits prominently in the film as a plot line, the family appears to be akha.) however, each of these characters spoke Lao, although we can guess that in their traditional settings, they would not.  i guess that the idea of a "Lao" movie, that ends up not being Lao - even though the language spoken is Lao - made me a little sad.  i mean, if you are gonna make a Lao movie, just make a Lao movie - and if you're gonna make an akha movie, just make it... however, this is an Australian production, and the twin plot is central to the story, so thanks to them for making the movie.

and in the end, this is a small point. overall the film was fun, poignant, and also beautiful to look at (despite some stock footage of a bat cave that looked like it was filmed with an iphone camera.  they should have used the galaxy siii.)

grade: b+

Friday, January 18, 2013

indiegogo campaign

hello everyone! please take the time to check out this indiegogo campaign! these youth are trying to raise money for their film to take it to a leadership conference in washington dc! donate if you can, and also share it with your friends and family!

here is a brief description of the film:

A Clean UA is a documentary short by the Southeast Asian Young Men's Group. The film follows Peter Phan, a 17-year-old Vietnamese American, as he decides to quit marijuana. Using a hand held camera, Peter journals the difficulties and challenges of his path to recovery while exploring the benefits of being sober. Peter begins his film just after he's suspended from school for smoking marijuana during lunch break. He's determined to quit marijuana "cold turkey," but he's not expecting the difficulties that arise from quitting: pressure from friends, loneliness, and symptoms of withdrawal. Peter filmed his documentary over a six-month period, and with his film, he aims to promote more open dialogue about this issue with his peers and other youth in his community.

A Clean UA from Joseph Mills on Vimeo.

find out more info about the film and the youth here at