Summer Film Series Highlights 'Fortitude,' Perseverance

A highlight of the 2008 Asia Society Summer Film Series is the Indian film Vanaja.

HONG KONG, May 29, 2008 - Since 2003, the Asia Society Summer Film Series has brought to Hong Kong annually critically acclaimed documentary and feature films about Asia. Each year's films focus on select themes that represent a diverse assortment of both countries and genres while also appealing to a wide audience. Special attention is paid to films that have yet to find commercial distribution, and the participation of directors and artists involved is another key element.

In May and June 2008, Asia Society Hong Kong Centre presented the sixth edition of the series—Asian Fortitude, 10 screenings of five films that acknowledge Asian people's unique ability to find enlightenment and empowerment in the face of persecution, war, prejudice, and poverty.

Critically acclaimed films selected for Asian Fortitude include Foster Child (Philippines), a rare glimpse into a day in the life of a foster family in abject poverty in the Philippines; Buddha’s Lost Children (Netherlands), a documentary about Thai boxer turned Buddhist monk Khru Bah, dispensing unconditional love to underprivileged children in the Golden Triangle; Vanaja (India), a tale of class, family, and animus where young dancer Vanaja proudly comes of age after being badly wronged; Across the Plateau (China), an extraordinary documentary of a group of retired Cultural Revolution survivors who embarked on a grueling cycling journey from Lanzhou to the Tibetan plateau in order to attain spiritual fulfillment; and The Betrayal (USA), a true, never-been-told tale (filmed over 23 years) of Laotian Thavisouk Phrasavath’s survival of war, escape from persecution in Laos, and the second war his family fights on the mean streets of New York City.

Zhang Zeming, the director of Across the Plateau, made a special appearance during the Series to provide behind-the-scene episodes of his struggle to produce quality work in a highly competitive and commercial environment. Both screenings of Across the Plateau played to full houses, helping to make 2008 another successful year for the Summer Film Series among both members and general audiences.