Thursday, April 05, 2007

Watch: Blood of Yingzhou District

While watching the Oscar telecast couple months ago, I was really intrigued by one of the winners called Blood of Yingzhou District. I suggested it to Michelle for an event for Asian Health Awareness Week and the Chicago International Documentary Festival matched perfectly with one of the days. Watch:This 40 minute film truly was a heartbreaker. It was sad to see the discrimination the children and families faced, even though they weren't inflicted with HIV or AIDS. It was the suffering from the disease that was the problem, but the inequalities they faced with the stigma of AIDS. Plus it was refreshing to see AIDS without the filter of it being a "gay disease". But what bothered me was that these types of documentaries always provided awareness of the problem, but not much of a solution. Just wish there was something to do.It was a double feature, and we also saw Return to the Border which was a fascinating account of the Yalu River, which divides China from North Korea. Who knew that just less than a decade before, the two countries were civil to each other, trading goods across the river. After China became allies with South Korea, the two countries divided by the river were suddenly enemies. It was just fascinating to get a glimpse of the life in North Korea. A lot of the shots of North Korea taken across or in the river with the lens zoomed into the action. The most memorable images were of the two people conducting trade across the river throwing goods to their respective sides. Another was of South Korean tourists giving gifts and other goods secretly to North Korean soldiers. No politics involved. They treated each other as if they were from the same country, and departed by saying "See you again at reunification..." I don't know how he took his camera into N. Korea and shot pictures of the marketplace, where free trade was happening (something N. Korea definitely would not want people to see...) I was so engrossed with this movie. Korea has such a sad history.

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