UpDate: Iron Road Screening

Boston Screening of

Iron Road


Thursday, May 15, 2014

7:00 pm

The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University

525 Washington St.

Boston, MA  02111


A story of disguise and forbidden love, set against the building of the railroad


Dir. David Wu | Canada | 2009 | 95 min | Drama

Starring Peter O’Toole, Sam Neill, Sun Li, Luke MacFarlane, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Kenneth Mitchell, Gau Yun Xiang. Producers, Raymond Massey, Anne Tait,Arnie Zipursky, Barry Pearson


Iron Road follows the journey of Little Tiger (Sun Li), a child whose quest for her long-lost father takes her from a fireworks factory in China to a remote construction camp in the Rockies. Lured by the myth of ‘Gum San’ – Gold Mountain – she and her countrymen travels to Canada by the thousands to do the back-breaking work of blasting through the mountains to lay track. She soon learns that railroads only bring fortune to the few and that every mile of track is purchased with fear and death. As treachery and prejudice threaten her, Little Tiger must use her wits and courage to fulfill her quest and honor her friends who died in this foreign land.


This screening honors the 145th anniversary of the joining of the Transcontinental Railroad.  A conversation with Ronald Eng Young, grandson of a Chinese railroad worker, follows the screening.



$8 General Admission

$5 Students with ID

Free for AARW & CHSNE Members

Free for Suffolk Students & Faculty with ID

Purchase tickets at: www.baaff.org/iron-road


Presented by the Boston Asian American Film Festival

Co-presented by the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE), Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies/Suffolk University, and Bridgewater State University



Movie Review: Innocent Blood

From the Boston Asian American Film Festival last weekend, Innocent Blood — a closed case reopens, his son is kidnapped, and ex-LA detective James Park must confront past transgressions to save his family.


Why should you watch the movie?

If you like thrillers, it delivers. It keeps the suspense coiled tight through the whole movie, which is an impressive feat. If you’re not interested in ethnic studies or issues of social justice, it focuses less on issues of Asian American community/identity/racial politics, so much as it questions whether the pursuit of justice can be both noble and effective. The freedom to present broken, fully developed, Asian American characters in a full length feature film, without having to defend of define their racial identity is refreshingly fun. If you like buddy cops, damn. The supporting tall/short detective combo is funny.


Why shouldn’t you watch the movie?

If you’re distracted by clunky dialog, the story and the actors are solid, but the writing tends to feel a little stilted and forced. If you don’t like violence and moral ambiguity, you may feel a bit uncomfortable with how often both make their way into the movie. If you’re tired of Christianity being used as a shorthand for morality, there’s that trope, too. Also, the pan-ethnicity of the movie gets a bit muddy.

The 5th Anniversary Edition of BAAFF

That’s the Boston Asian American Film Festival. I’ve always had fun at BAAFF, when I’ve been able to go, but it always felt like a cool, home-grown, local-as-all-hell kind of an event. So you can imagine my shock when I went to the website to check out this year’s line up and saw…

1) A drawing by Tak Toyishima, the man behind Secret Asian Man!

2) A special appearance by Ang Lee!


What? I might just have to find a way to be in Boston that weekend, to see how crazy this festival has grown. Check out the full lineup here.

BAAFF Schedule is Up

The Boston Asian American Film Festival has its schedule and trailers up for this month’s festival! The festival is always a good time, reflecting a pretty wide range of Asian American cinematic voices, from purely entertainment to locally produced to slightly political. Last year, I think a Wong Fu Productions popped up in the shorts category. Plus, it’s a real community event, so a lot of the same faces show up at multiple screenings, which gives a good opportunity for film buffs to compare the different films with each other, or to catch up on what you missed (and then go stream them from somewhere).

If I were in town, I would watch the documentary on Pui Chan, at least. Old, friendly kung fu masters? I’m down:

BAAFF 2011!

The Boston Asian American Film Festival is underway! As in, it starts today!


If you haven’t thought about going, or you haven’t gotten your tickets, let me say that this is a great event. Technically, I can’t speak for this year, seeing as I’m in Seattle, but last year it was a great event! It’s not a “if you don’t get this, you don’t understand art” kind of a festival. The movies are the kind you can bring anyone to, and enjoy.


Here’s the festival line-up at-a-glance:
Thursday, Nov. 10, 8:00pm @ The Brattle
Almost Perfect
Directed by Bertha Bay-Sa Pan
Post-screening Q & A with Director
Special Performance by Genki Spark, Japanese Taiko Drumming Troupe

Friday, Nov. 11, 7:00pm @ MIT, 10-250
James Hong: Behind the Scenes Secrets of Hollywood

Actor James Hong has a prolific film and television career that spans 57 years with more than 500 roles. In this spotlight event, Mr. Hong will speak about his career and reveal secrets about the magic and realities of Hollywood.

Friday, Nov. 11, 9:15pm @ MIT, 10-250
Pot Luck Shorts: Art of Love

Showcasing a collection of ten thought provoking shorts, that celebrate and examine themes of love, sexuality, identity, and hope. Program includes BAAFF”s Short Waves Short Video Competition Winner, Pratna Kem.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2:00pm @ Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room
One Big Hapa Family
2010 | 85 mins | Documentary
Directed by Jeff Chiba Stearns

Saturday, Nov. 12, 6:30pm @ AMC Boston Common 
2011 | 8 mins | Animation
Directed by Erick Oh

2011 | 109 mins | Drama
Directed by Minh Duc Nguyen
Post-screening Q & A with Director

Saturday, Nov. 12, 9:00pm @ AMC Boston Common
Bang Bang
2011 | 101 mins | Drama
Directed by Byron Q
Post-screening Q & A with Director

Sunday, Nov. 13, 1:00pm @ MIT, 10-250
Potluck Shorts: Passion and Courage

Presenting a collection of ten evocative shorts that explore themes of perseverance, heart, and ambition.

Sunday, Nov. 13, 4:30pm @ AMC Loews Boston Common
2011 | 77 mins | Drama
Directed by Michael Kang

For more information: check out baaff.org.

Asian American Heritage Month, on the Small Screen

My friends got soul. My friends got skills. Two of them are finalists in a film contest “Short Waves: Stories Shaping Our Communities“, sponsored by the Asian American Resource Workshop and Boston’s WGBH. I won’t tell you which videos were done by my friends. Just know that they’re the best ones and voting ends May 22. Check out the contest here and the description below:

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, WGBH in collaboration with the Boston Asian American Film Festival (BAAFF) held an Open Call for short videos through the WGBH Lab.

Asian Pacific Americans have long been making waves in all aspects of American life, but their stories have often been lost in general U.S. discourse. “Short Waves: Stories Shaping Our Community,” hopes to bring light to these stories through locally made, short films about the Asian American experience and community.