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SAN FRANCISCO– Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film Series (Day One)

March 20, 2019 @ 10:30 am12:00 pm

Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017. Courtesy of Tuan Andrew Nguyen and James Cohan, New York.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017. Courtesy of Tuan Andrew Nguyen and James Cohan, New York.

SAN JOSÉ– San Jose Museum of Art and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco co-present Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film from March 20–24, 2019, a special film program showcasing recent documentary, short, artistic, and feature-length films by Southeast Asian filmmakers.

Topics range from struggles with transgender identity in Finding Phong (2015) by Tran Phong Thao and Swann Dubus to Malila: The Farewell Flower (2017), Anucha Boonyawatana’s meditation on love, loss, and mortality between two former gay lovers, to Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s The Island (2017), a dystopian art film shot on the Malaysian island of Pulau Bidong—the site of the largest and longest-operating refugee camp after the Vietnam War. Running from March 20–24, 2019, this free program of twelve films will screen at locations in both San José and San Francisco, including SJMA, Tully Library in San José, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana/MACLA, California College of the Arts, and the Asian Art Museum. Screenings will be followed by conversations with filmmakers, scholars, and audiences. See accompanying screening schedule for full program details.

A detailed listing of screening times, locations, and summaries of each film will be released in the coming weeks. 

Stories from the Farther Shore coincides with Dinh Q. Lê: True Journey Is Return, an exhibition organized by SJMA highlighting the acclaimed Vietnamese artist’s video and photography installations that gives voice to multiple, simultaneous stories about Vietnamese life and the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The films presented in this program offer a similarly nuanced portrait of Southeast Asia, focused on contemporary issues both at home and abroad. At a time of growing hostility to immigrant and refugee experiences in the United States, the films in this program will join the exhibition in giving voice to complex, humanized stories of identity and homeland, loss and survival, tradition and modernity.

Wednesday, March 20
5:30 pm
Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War. 2011.
Vietnam. Directed by Dinh Q. Lê. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 36 min.

California College of the Arts, Timken Auditorium, Main Building, SF Campus

1111 8th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Followed by a conversation between artists Dinh Q. Lê and Quach Phong.

Check out the FULL SCHEDULE (13 films over four days)


Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War

Directed by Dinh Q. Lê. Vietnam 2012. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 36 min.


Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War uncovers an obscure history of the Vietnam War when Northern Vietnamese artists responded passionately to Hồ Chi Minh’s call to “fight on the battlefield of cultural ideology.” Eleven former artist-soldiers reveal their reasons for joining the conflict as artists, recounting their experiences with honesty and deep introspection. Brief animations of the artists and their work give their recollections a storylike quality that blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction, and between individual and collective memory.


This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project was support by California Humanities through an Humanities for All Project Grant. 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


March 20, 2019
10:30 am – 12:00 pm


California Colleges of the Arts
1111 8th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
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