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Documentary screenings at UnionDocs

On Saturday October 17, UnionDocs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, will present three documentaries dealing with contemporary greater China: the marginalized but fiercely independent Turkic-Muslim community of Ughyurs; an enormous failed consumer center; and throngs of Taiwanese together in the streets around the 2008 elections.

UnionDocs is located at 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UnionDocs website. Program description follows after the break:

Kings Of The Sky Directed by Deborah Stratman 2004, video, 68 minutes

Synopsis: An experimental documentary about resistance, balance and fame, Kings of the Sky follows tightrope artist Adil Hoxur as he and his troupe tour China’s Taklamakan desert amongst the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people seeking religious and political autonomy. The film gracefully hovers between travelogue, ethnographic visual poetry, and an advocacy video for preserving a traditional art form.

“Kings of the Sky hovers between a traveler’s diary, a visual poem of ethnographic imagery, and an advocacy video for preserving a traditional art form. It’s as if Stratman ran off, joined the circus and learned a balancing act of her own.” – Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun Times

Utopia: Part 3, the World’s Largest Shopping Mall Directed by Sam Green 2009, video, 13 minutes

Synopsis: More than twice the size of the Mall of America, the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, seems to have it all: gondolas, carnival rides, palm trees, Teletubbies. Conspicuously missing, however, are the bustling tenants and hordes of shoppers. Promo pieces promised a “one-stop consumption center,” but what mall developers now have is nearly seven million square feet of empty retail space. Buoyed by a mellow yet optimistic techno-pop soundtrack, this short film takes us on a tour of this failed monument to consumerism – down its empty escalators and lonely corridors, pausing to speak with the store clerks, maintenance workers, and very occasional visitors.

Dogs of Straw Directed by Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong 2009, video, 11 minutes

Synopsis: Dogs of Straw is both a portrayal of Taiwan’s 2008 presidential election and a meditation on democracy, manipulation, and nationalism. In Taiwan’s fledgling democracy, it is only during a presidential election when the “people exists” as a formless abstract multitude removed from concrete social structures.


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