Screen Asia: GRIT – Documentaries on Work and Life
This short film series features three striking documentaries — JEEPNEY, Tashi’s Turbine, and Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm. The films give glimpses into the joys and struggles of daily working lives. Asia Society is excited to welcome David “Mas” Masumoto, subject of Changing Season, to visit with guests to talk about his experiences as a third-generation farmer, his writings, and more after the screenings.
About the Films
JEEPNEY is a documentary that visualizes the richly diverse cultural heritage of the Philippines through its boldly decorated and ultimately iconic mass transport vehicle. Born from the ashes of WWII, the jeepney industry is being rapidly phased out by expanding foreign businesses, tougher green policies, and the impending loss of the original generation of artisans. Through the personal narratives of its builders, drivers, and passengers, JEEPNEY traces the vehicle’s journey from an object of war to a brazen symbol of the country’s resilient native arts.
Set in the grassroots of the Himalayan Mountains, Tashi’s Turbine is an uplifting tale of a small village’s attempt to harness renewable, sustainable energy with the power of the wind. Director and cinematographer Amitabh Joshi tells a story of friendship and engineering with simple and graceful composition, paying delicate attention to the natural beauty of Namdok (Nepal). As the villagers speak and laugh with the camera, their storytelling weaves together a light-hearted, moving account on the power of the wind and a community’s vision.
Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm
Changing Season chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate, and sansei, David “Mas” Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father’s work boots. Mas’ hopes and hesitations for the future are shored up with his daughter’s return, as the family must navigate the implications of Mas’ 60th birthday and triple bypass surgery.
Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of performing arts and cultural programs, with generous support from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, the Hearst Foundations, and Mickey Rosenau & Dr. Ellen Gritz. Lead support is provided by the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, The Clayton Fund, the Favrot Fund, and the Wortham Foundation. Support is also provided by Friends of Performing Arts & Culture, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming to Houston. This program is presented in collaboration with the Center for Asian American Media (CA).