Windy City International Documentary Festival

Presented by Columbia College’s Documentary Center and the International Documentary Association, the 1997 Windy City International Documentary Festival runs from Saturday through Monday, May 3 through 5; Wednesday, May 7; and next weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, and at Hokin Hall Theater, 635 S. Wabash. All screenings are free. For further information call 312-663-1600, ext. 5773.

SATURDAY, MAY 3

Nomads in the Sky

For this 53-minute film from the People’s Republic of China (1996), director Gao Guodong spent a year following a family of nomadic herders on the Qiangtang prairie in the mountains of northern Tibet. (Chicago Cultural Center, 11:00 am)

Sunflowers

U.S. filmmaker Shawn Hainsworth’s 50-minute portrait of gay life in a small Philippine town (1996) chronicles a Christian festival, Santa Cruzan, which some of the faithful attend in drag. (Chicago Cultural Center, 11:55 am)

Viet Kieu

Duy Tan Nguyen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam at age two, directed this 45-minute documentary (1996) about his struggle to resolve his cultural identity during a visit to his homeland. On the same program, Paul Lee’s These Shoes Weren’t Made for Walking (1995) and Rajul Mehta’s Kumbharwada, Bombay: Potters Colony (1996). (Chicago Cultural Center, 12:45)

Beyond Barbed Wire

This 88-minute film from the U.S. (1996) tells the story of American-born Japanese who fought to prove their loyalty to the United States during World War II; Steve Rosen directed. (Chicago Cultural Center, 2:25)

Round Eyes in the Middle Kingdom

In his 52-minute film (1995) Ronald Levaco explores the Caucasian community in China, contrasting his life as a former member of that community with that of Israel Epstein, a journalist who stayed and became a Chinese citizen. (Chicago Cultural Center, 4:00).

SUNDAY, MAY 4

Mongolia on the Edge of Time

U.S. filmmaker Lisa Seidenberg’s 32-minute documentary (1996) mixes scenes of contemporary Mongolia with archival footage of a 1990 hunger strike by prodemocracy dissidents that ended 70 years of communist rule. (Chicago Cultural Center, 12:15)

Luxun’s Former House

The Beijing Broadcasting Institute’s Ren Yuan will lecture on documentary production in China and introduce Dai Wei-yu’s half-hour profile (1974) of Chinese writer Luxun (one of the first color documentaries produced for China Central Television). On the same program: Mu Zhong-li’s short One Day in Kindergarten (1972). (Chicago Cultural Center, 12:50)

The Passing of the Mountain God

This one-hour film (1993) by China’s Sun Zung-tian tells the story of an elderly Oluncun hunter in northeastern China. On the same program, 20-minute episodes from two contemporary Chinese television series. The Beijing Broadcasting Institute’s Ren Yuan will provide an introduction. (Chicago Cultural Center, 2:10)

Returning Home

A one-hour Chinese television documentary (1995) about the rescue of an injured panda. On the same program, a 20-minute episode from Orient Horizon, a newsmagazine broadcast on China Central Television. The Beijing Broadcasting Institute’s Ren Yuan will provide an introduction. (Chicago Cultural Center, 3:50)

MONDAY, MAY 5

Birth of a Dream

This hour-long film (1995) from the U.S. by Claus Gorges chronicles the efforts of artist Gregory Hawthorne to establish a new gallery at Big Sur. (Hokin Hall Theater, 7:00)

Documentary Visionaries of Tomorrow 1

Documentaries by students from Stanford University (Mark Becker, Johnny Symons, and Kim Roberts) and the Munich Film Academy (Claas Danielsen); the program runs a little over two hours. (Hokin Hall Theater, 8:00)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 7

Motherhood on Trial

In her 26-minute film (1996) Lynn Estomin examines motherhood, religion, and politics through the public reaction to Susan Smith’s drowning of her two children in a South Carolina lake. (Hokin Hall Theater, 7:00)

Documentary Visionaries of Tomorrow 2

Documentaries by students from the University of North Carolina (Curtis Gaston), the University of California (Michael S. Smith), and the New School for Social Research (Ethan Minsker); a two-and-a-half-hour program. (Hokin Hall Theater, 7:30)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Uncredited photo from “Miriam Is Not Amused”.