In celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month, AsiaConnect will present the 2016 Asian Film Festival from Thursday, April 14, through Sunday, April 17, at the Normal Theater. The cost of the event is $7 for general admission. The first 50 students with an ID will not pay admission each night.
The festival will feature theatrically acclaimed movies from China, South Korea, and Japan including:
- Treeless Mountain (So Yong Kim, 2009) [South Korea], at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14. A portrait of a young girl coming to terms with loss and abandonment, 6-year-old Jin and her younger sister Bin live on the edge of disaster, but they are not aware of it. In the small apartment where they reside with their single mother, the menacing sounds of the outer world disturb their precarious cocoon. One day, their mother packs all their belongings. For Jin, the days of going to school are over. Mommy is gone, leaving her and Bin in a hostile home with their alcoholic Big Aunt and a piggy bank to slowly fill with coins. Once the bank is full, the girls believe their mother will be back.
- Queen (Vikas Bahl, 2014) [India], at 7 p.m. Friday, April 15. It is the story of a simple Delhi-based girl whose life changes unexpectedly. Rani (Kangana Ranaut), a simple middle class, conservative girl has her dreams shattered when her husband-to-be leaves her stranded at the altar. Rani then decides to go on the honeymoon–the one she’s always been planning–by herself. The girl who’s never left her house alone now goes to Paris and Amsterdam on her own. What follows is a fun, quirky journey of Rani who discovers herself, while exploring the unknown.
- Okuribito/Departures (Yojiro Takita, 2009) [Japan], at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16. Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) is a talented musician, but when his orchestra is abruptly disbanded, he suddenly finds himself without a source of steady income. Making the decision to move back to his small hometown, Daigo answers a classified ad for a company called “Departures,” mistakenly assuming that he will be working for a travel agency. Upon discovering that he will actually be preparing the bodies of the recently deceased for their trip to the afterlife, Daigo accepts the position as gatekeeper between life and death and gradually gains a greater appreciation for life. But while Daigo’s wife and friends universally despise his new line of work, he takes a great amount of pride in the fact that he is helping to ensure that the dead receive a proper send-off from this state of being.
- Coming Home (Zhang Yimou, 2014) [China], at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17. Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.
AsiaConnect is an affinity group established to promote Asian cultures and represent the interests, needs, and concerns of Asian faculty, staff, and students. This event is made possible by the major support of the Beyond Normal Films Cinema Arts Project, MECCPAC, and Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts, Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, and Department of Politics and Government.