103 min
South Korea
Jung Woo-Sung

Superstar actor and director Jung Woo-sung will be in attendance for a special post-screening Q&A after the NOV 11 screening.

It’s hard to be a Man of Reason with a target on your back. Soo-hyuk wants out of the criminal world after serving 10 years for wiping out his old boss and a clutch of gang soldiers. Although this made room for his former criminal-in-arms to move up to “chairman” of the new corporate organized gang, the new boss remains wary of Soo-hyuk. An overly ambitious underboss figures taking out Soo-hyuk is his ticket to the top floor and hires a decidedly off-beat hit team who prefer explosives and arson along with a tricked out nail gun. When they kidnap Soo-hyuk’s newly discovered daughter it unleashes his “very particular set of skills” spelling vengeance for all.

The directorial debut of superstar Jung Woo-sung, in A MAN OF REASON Jung unleashes his own John Woo skills with elaborately and explosively choreographed fight and chase scenes. Offering a stoic performance as Soo-hyuk, Jung brings together an all-star cast, crafting a classic action revenge film with flair, finesse, and a touch of comic relief for good measure.
-Tom Brislin

84 min
Jose Zelada, Richard Claus

An indigenous environmental film for all ages from animation team Jose Zelada and Richard Klaus, welcome to the world of AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON.

Ainbo was born and grew up in a village in the deepest jungle of the Amazon. Her mother died when she was small, but she has led a happy life with her best friend, the village chief’s daughter. One day she discovers that her homeland is being threatened by evil forces. With the help of her spirit guides “Dillo” a cute and humorous armadillo and “Vaca” a heavy-set tapir, Ainbo embarks on a journey to save her people. Along the way she will need to overcome challenges and get to know herself as well.

As she fights to save her paradise against the greed and exploitation by illegal miners, she also struggles to reverse this destruction and the impending evil of the “Yacaruna”, a darkness that lives in the Amazon. Guided by her mother’s spirit, Ainbo is determined to save her land before it’s too late.

120 min
Carla Simón

In the small village of Alcarràs, Spain, the Catalonian Sole family spend every summer farming peaches together at their family orchard. Yet industrialization is invading the village and new plans of installing solar panels threaten the agricultural traditions of the family. As the doom of the orchard becomes glaringly evident, conflict erupts between the members of the intergenerational family as they each find separate ways of coping with change.

While the oldest generation are lost in the guilt of signing the contracts and the nostalgia of the past, the next generation tries to rebel against the plans by attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy. The children, on the other hand, are oblivious to the politics of these changes and strive to reconcile their transforming childhood.

With a cast of mostly non-professional actors, Carla Simon’s sophomore film is the first ever Catalan language film to win the Golden Bear at the Berlinale. A heart rending meditation on intergenerational familial relationships and the picturesque beauty of the Catalan landscape, ALCARRÀS is a stirring portrayal of a family’s unbreakable bonds.

117 min
United States
Laura Poitras

ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, ground- breaking photography, and rare footage of her personal fight to hold the Sackler family accountable for the overdose crisis.

Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, the film interweaves Goldin’s past and present, the deeply personal and urgently political, from P.A.I.N.’s actions at renowned art institutions to Goldin’s photography of her friends and peers through her epic “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” and her legendary 1989, NEA-censored AIDS exhibition, “Witness: Against Our Vanishing.”

The story begins with P.A.I.N., a group Goldin founded to shame museums into rejecting Sackler money, destigmatize addiction and promote harm reduction. Inspired by Act Up, they orchestrated protests to expose the Sacklers and the crimes of their Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin.

At the core of the film are Goldin’s art works “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency”; “The Other Side”; “Sisters, Saints and Sibyls”; and “Memory Lost.” In these works, Goldin captures her friendships with beauty and raw tenderness. These friendships, and the legacy of her sister Barbara, anchor all of Goldin’s art.

90 min
United States
Deborah Chow

Deborah Chow is a filmmaker of Chinese Australian descent who has directed extensively in film and television on such shows as THE MANDALORIAN, MR. ROBOT, JESSICA JONES and winning an NAACP Image Award for BETTER CALL SAUL. Her most recent work was directing the entire limited series of OBI-WAN KENOBI on Disney Plus. In this year’s New American Perspectives (NAP) Masterclass presented by Vilcek Foundation, Chow will participate in a moderated conversation about her career. The masterclass will follow a screening of an episode from OBI-WAN KENOBI.

101 min
United States
David Siev

After leaving NYC for his rural hometown of Bad Axe, MI at the start of the pandemic, an Asian American filmmaker documents his family’s struggles to keep their restaurant open. As fears of the virus grow, deep generational scars dating back to the Cambodian Killing Fields unearth between the family’s patriarch, Chun, and his daughter, Jaclyn. When the BLM movement takes center stage in America, the family uses their voice to speak out in their town where Trumpism runs deep. What unfolds is a real-time portrait of 2020 through the lens of this multicultural family’s fight to keep their American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and the trauma of having survived a genocide.

BAD AXE world premiered at SXSW, where it won a jury award and the coveted Audience Award for Best Documentary.

104 min
United States
Cynthia Lowen

This June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, ending 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion in the United States. How have we arrived here, when 7 in 10 Americans support access to legal abortion?

Comprised of Gen Z activists, members of the Christian Right, and even some Democrats, there are powerful organizations across the US sharing a common goal: to render abortion illegal. This eye-opening documentary focuses on three women from distinctly different walks of life who are leading the charge in their quest to overturn Roe V. Wade, as they face down forces equally determined to safeguard women’s right to choose. Immersing the viewer in the anti-abortion side of the discourse, we bear witness to their well-organized networks, politically potent activism, and their policy gains under Trump. With first-rate access to protests, conferences, and recruiting campaigns, this may prove to be an illuminating portrayal of anti-abortion advocates for those on the other side of the debate.

Told with restraint and balance, director Cynthia Lowen seeks to clarify rather than condemn, and presents a new point of entry for this challenging topic. In the face of rapidly disappearing reproductive rights in America, this thought-provoking piece is certain to spark conversation about one of the most pressing issues of our times.

108 min
China, Hong Kong SAR China, Japan
Li Gen

Li Xiaoli (Xie Chengze) is a Chinese exchange student who travels to Fuchinobe in Tokyo to study for a year. After much searching, he finally finds a Chinese restaurant with the help of his old classmate Qiu Qiu (Qiu Tian). The restaurant’s manager, Guan Wei (Qi Xi), takes him in while the clerk, Aoki (Niu Chao), treats him as a rival. As the next spring rapidly approaches, what will happen to the new relationships and bonds that have been formed?

BEFORE NEXT SPRING, from first-time director Li Gen, is a keenly observed drama about Chinese expats who find their own sense of “home.” Drawing from his own experiences as a foreign exchange student studying in Japan, the director crafts an engaging story centered on the Chinese restaurant where various lives of our main characters intersect in an engaging fresco of everyday life.

77 min
United States
Crystal Kwok

BLURRING THE COLOR LINE follows director Crystal Kwok as she unpacks the history behind her grandmother’s family, who were neighborhood grocery store owners in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during the Jim Crow era. The film weaves personal family stories with memories from the larger Chinese and Black communities, opening up uncomfortable but necessary conversations around anti-Black racism and the deeply rooted structure of white power and Chinese patriarchy that contributed to this sentiment.

The stories they discuss and choose to remember offer a nuanced look into how two seemingly different communities shared a connective history that illuminates the roots of America’s problematic racial history. This film opens critical conversations on where the Chinese community fit into the black and white dichotomy of the segregated south; how anti-blackness was established and perpetuated; and how marginal groups were pitted against each other in the hierarchical structure of white supremacy.