Seoul Train (Korea, 2005) & Floating Life (China, 2005)

Seoul Train (Korea, 2005) & Floating Life (China, 2005)

Friday, May 15, 2009 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Room 106, Department of Economics See map
212 York Street
New Haven, CT 6511

Come explore two documentaries from East Asia about immigration and migration! Two screenings as part of the PIER Global Film Series 2009. Screenings are free and open to the public.

Seoul Train
Produced and Directed by Lisa Sleeth and Jim Butterworth, 2005 (55 min., English Subtitles)

The gripping documentary by Incite Productions, Inc. into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland.

SEOUL TRAIN, with its riveting footage of a secretive “underground railroad,” delves into the complex geopolitics behind this growing and potentially explosive humanitarian crisis. By combining vérité footage, personal stories and interviews with experts and government officials, SEOUL TRAIN depicts the flouting of international laws by major countries, the inaction and bureaucracy of the United Nations, and the heroics of activists that put themselves in harm’s way to save the refugees trying to escape their homeland.

followed by

Floating LIfe
Directed by Huang Weikai, 2005 (93 min., English Subtitles)

The drastic economic disparity between rural and urban areas in contemporary China causes large numbers of the rural population to pour into cities. The Chinese laws and regulations on the detention and repatriation of permit-less vagrants and beggars in the cities have made these new migrants susceptible to punishment and discrimination.

Originally coming from the rural Henan Province, Yang is a singer who scratches a living by singing in the underground passages of urban business centers in the city of Guangzhou. Everyday he carries with him his temporary residency card and ID card to avoid being caught and detained by the local police. To protect his business, he has to bribe the security guards who are in charge of the underground passages where he sings. Many of Yang’s friends have been detained by the local police and sent back home, but soon after that they come back to the city and continue their drifting life. Already turning thirty, Yang is thinking about ending his drifting life and going back to his home village to start a married life with his first love. But back home life is even more chaotic. In the end Yang, like his other friends, is caught by the police in Guangzhou and sent back home.

2005 Yunnan Multi-Culture Visual Forum; Black Pottery Prize Award and Audience Award

For More Information

Co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies and the Programs in International and Educational Resources (PIER) at the MacMillan Center
China, Korea, Transregional