Here are trailers and synopses for some of the films being shown at the 2012 DisOrient Film Festival
Touch [109mins] [Tickets]
A mechanic looking to save his faltering marriage strikes up an unlikely friendship with a shy Vietnamese-American manicurist, who not only cleans his greasy hands but also gives him advice about his love life. This sensual film explores the sense of touch and its emotional impact – how with just a simple touch, we can reveal our deepest longings and even heal a wounded soul.
Jimmy Murakami: Non-Alien [73min] [Tickets]
Jimmy T. Murakami is a world-renowned Oscar nominated animator whose credits include When the Wind Blows and The Snowman but there is one dark chapter in his life that he has not revealed until recently. During WW2, Japanese-American citizens like Jimmy and his family were evacuated to a concentration camp in the California desert. This film takes you on an extraordinary journey with Jimmy, from his adopted country Ireland, through his Hollywood career, climaxing with his return to camp to confront his childhood and his still present anger with the American government that put him there.
Crocodile in the Yangtze [75min] [Tickets]
Crocodile in the Yangtze [Trailer]
‘Crocodile in the Yangtze’ follows China’s first Internet entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma, as he battles government bureaucrats, international media and US giant eBay to build China’s first global Internet company. The inside story of China’s Internet revolution told through the eyes of an American who worked in Ma’s company, Alibaba.com.
Mr. Cao Goes to Washington [72min] [Tickets]
Rookie congressman Joseph Cao of Louisiana angers fellow Republicans by befriending President Obama, then he alienates the President by voting with the Republicans against Health Care Reform. Will bipartisanship reward or ruin his chances for re-election?
Enemy Alien [82min] [Tickets]
A Japanese American filmmaker finds echoes of his own family’s World War II internment as he gets involved in the struggle to free Farouk, a Palestinian activist arrested in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Farouk organizes resistance among his fellow detainees, incurring abusive retaliation from his captors, as Homeland Security officials investigate the documentary itself, arresting Farouk’s son.
Toward Living Pono [57min] [Tickets]
‘Toward Living Pono’ follows internationally acclaimed film actor Jason Scott Lee and other residents of the Big Island of Hawai’i as they espouse the native hawaiian concept of ‘Pono’–living righteously–by placing an emphasis in their lives upon the importance of respect for the environment, the wisdom of the ancestors, and one another. Their efforts in response to the grossly underreported environmental and social justice crises in Hawai’i provide a model for all of us as we face global climate and culture catastrophes looming ahead.
The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas [57min] [Tickets]
What is it like to be a colonial subject of the greatest democracy on earth? The Insular Empire follows four indigenous islanders on a journey to understand the history of America’s colonies in the western Pacific: Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
My KoAloha Story [74min] [Ticket]
My KoAloha Story is a Made in Hawaii ‘talk story’ style documentary-music film about a family owned ukulele business and their special brand of old school Aloha. What was once a failed plastics business in the midst of bankruptcy is transformed into one of the most highly regarded and beloved ukulele companies in the world, KoAloha Ukulele. The KoAloha Story is a story of Ohana, family, and how a tiny ukulele has the power to change lives and bring people closer together. With music by ukulele masters Jason Arimoto, Daniel Ho, Gordon Mark, and Herb Ohta, Jr. and original songs composed and performed by inventor Alvin ‘Pops’ Okami. Directed by Gary San Angel with animated story by Rocky Kev.
West is West [103min] [Ticket]
Sequel to the internationally acclaimed and successful film EAST IS EAST, WEST IS WEST is the coming of age story of both 15 year old Sajid and of his father, 60 year old George Khan. Sajid, the runt of the Khan litter, is deep in pubescent crisis under heavy assault both from his father’s insistence on tradition, and from the fierce bullies in the schoolyard. In a last attempt to sort him out, his father packs him off to Mrs Khan No 1 and daughters in the Punjab, the family he had abandoned 30 years earlier. It is not long before Ella (Mrs Khan No 2), with a small entourage from Salford, swiftly follows to sort out the mess, past and present.