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陈凯/纪录片“孔学堂之争”已上映 "Mass Confucian" Screened
陈凯/纪录片“孔学堂之争”已上映 "Mass Confucian" Screenedin 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:38 pm
by fountainheadkc • 1.373 Posts
Chinese language produces living dead 中文语言只制造活死人
Documentary Film "Mass Confucian" Screened
Film Producer: Philip Chung
Kai Chen's Words: 3/19/14
It will be interesting to see this film. The producer had a cameraman follow me in my protest against the Confucius Classroom program in Hacienda La Puente School District.
Confucius Classroom movie to open at Los Angeles Asian Film Festival
By Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
POSTED: 03/15/14, 9:41 PM PDT |
As a boy growing up in Temple City in the late 1980s, Philip Chung noticed the Chinese signs appearing above the boulevard shops and wondered what was happening to his community.
“What does it really mean?” he asked.
Today, the 43-year-old playwright and director is posing the same question in his new documentary on the Confucius Classroom, a Chinese Ministry of Education program launched at Cedarlane Middle School in Hacienda Heights in 2010.
Chung’s 25-minute film, “Mass Confucian: Chinese Language or Communist Propaganda?,” which premieres May 3 at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, explores the controversy that followed the Chinese government class as a component of Chinese immigration in the San Gabriel Valley.
Chung spent three years pointing his camera at the Chinese language and culture program in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District that left a trail of recall attempts, racial epithets and anti-communist sentiment from the communities of Hacienda Heights and La Puente to the halls of Congress.
Chung went into the project with an open mind, he said.
“I had my own perceptions that it was about white people reacting to a community changing,” he said. “But it is more complicated than that.”
As a Korean-American, Chung knows about growing up as a minority.
But the bespectacled director, who helped write the script of the 2011 movie, “Fast Five,” also recognizes the changes created by the Asian wave that began in Monterey Park, moved to Arcadia, San Gabriel and Temple City and east to Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar.
By 1994, the San Gabriel Valley had eight of the top 10 cities in the United States with the highest population of Chinese Americans. Twenty years later, Asian Americans equal one-third to one-half the ethnic makeup of those cities.
“The intent was to see if we can better understand this issue,” Chung said, during an interview at his cramped office in South Pasadena located adjacent to the famous Gus’s BBQ.
What exactly is the issue, he was asked.
“Well, the bigger issue is about change. Not all racial change but it is generational,” he said. “It is about a community that is changing.”
The film includes interviews from opponents and proponents of Confucius Classroom and footage from heated school board meetings from 2010 and 2011. Hacienda Heights resident Rudy Obad spoke of his 30 years in the Marines fighting the communists and said he doesn’t want a program sponsored by the communist regime of China in his community.
Likewise, Kai Chen is shown serving recall papers on the HLPUSD board for supporting the program. Eventually, the recall failed and the school board voted to launch the program but without the Chinese government’s grant of $30,000.
By 2013, the Chinese government had placed 458 Confucius Classroom or Confucius Institutes in the United States, up from 287 in 2010, according to the film.
Chung said he learned a lot from listening to Obad and Chen. He saw them as perhaps representing an older generation who’ve fought against communism: Obad in Vietnam and Chen in China, whose family was persecuted for his ties to Taiwan, a democratic country.
“In their own ways, they have a valid point of view,” Chung said.
In the film, school board member Jay Chen, former board member Norman Hsu and others in the broader Los Angeles educational community support the program as a way to teach students Mandarin and open up doors for college graduates from HLPUSD to broaden career opportunities, including jobs in China.
Jeffrey Tso, a student at Wilson High School, appears in the film in support. He said he wished he had learned Mandarin when he was in middle school.
A key moment in the film is when Tso asks all the students in the board room opposed to Confucius to stand up. Not one does.
“Students were always in support of the class,” Chung said. “And those taking the class were pretty diverse and included Latino students.”
The film seems to say that young adults don’t carry the same objections to change or diversity as middle-aged or senior adults.
“Older people — and I include myself — are kind of set in our ways,” he said.
He’s attempting to arrange a screening for students and teachers at HLPUSD. But he’s not sure the movie will pick at a scab that has healed.
Board member Anthony Duarte suggested he screen it at the Hacienda Heights Community Center rather than at a district school. “But if a teacher wanted to show it would be fine as long as he or she incorporated it into the learning environment,” Duarte said.
Chung has lent the film to college students at Biola University in La Mirada, who watched it on Feb. 22, and to students of Pomona College Professor Gilda Ochoa, who appears in the film and grew up in the community.
“We want to reach students,” he said. “They are the ones who are going to be thrust into these issues.” Just like he was while growing up in Temple City and at Temple City High School where he graduated.
But Chung won’t say the film presents a definitive approach to working through demographic changes in the San Gabriel Valley or in Hacienda Heights, where 37 percent are Asian. Rather, he calls it “more like a snapshot” of a community dealing with the societal issue.
Chung’s light-hearted demeanor became more serious when he spoke of a tough lesson he learned from the experience of making the documentary.
“I realized if you have strong convictions, any constructive criticism of that will feel like an attack,” he said.