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SAN JOSÉ– Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film Series (Day Four)

March 23, 2019 @ 4:30 am12:30 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.

Check out the FULL SCHEDULE (13 films over five days, March 20 – March 24)

Schedule for Day Four: Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday, March 23 at 11:30 am 
Vientiane in Love. 2015. Laos. Directed by Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, and Xaisongkham Induangchanthy. Lao with English subtitles. 105 min.
San José Museum of Art, Wendel Education Center
110 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113

Vientiane in Love is the first Lao omnibus film and offers a unique representation of contemporary Laotian culture. This collection of five short films tackle love in various forms: a probable romance; a love gone wrong; a long-extinguished love; familial love, as well as love for one’s humble work; and unrequited yet unselfish love. Set in the capital city of Laos, these love stories reflect nuanced and non-typical relationships, complete with romance, heartbreak, and even humor.

Saturday, March 23 at 2 pm 
Malila: The Farewell Flower. 2017. Thailand. Directed by Anucha Boonyawatana. Thai with English subtitles. 96 min. 
San José Museum of Art, Wendel Education Center
110 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113

Malila: The Farewell Flower tells the story of Shane, a handsome farmer, who reunites with his ex-boyfriend Pitch, a skilled craftsman of bai sri (elaborate floral ornaments made from jasmine and banana leaves), and who is dying of cancer. They try to heal the pain of their past by reviving their old romance through the fabrication of this traditional Thai object—its delicate decorations symbols for the blossoming and withering of life, a process reflected in the progression of Pitch’s illness. Seeking redemption for himself and Pitch, Shane decides to become a Buddhist monk forever.

Saturday, March 23 at 6:30 pm 
Nailed It. 2017. USA. Directed by Adele Free Pham. English and Vietnamese with English  subtitles. 59 min. 
MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Castellano Playhouse
510 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

In any strip mall in the United States, there is bound to be a Vietnamese nail salon. While ubiquitous in cities across the country, few Americans know the history behind the salons and the twenty Vietnamese refugee women who, in 1975, sparked a multibillion dollar industry that supports their community to this day. Weaving powerful stories with insightful interviews, Nailed It captures an unforgettable and often hilarious saga born of tragedy, charting the rise, struggle, stereotypes, and steady hold Vietnamese Americans have on today’s multiethnic $8 billion-dollar nail industry.


This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Asian Cultural Council.


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 23, 2019
4:30 am – 12:30 pm


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