Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center Screening Recap and Photos

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Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center - 885 Washington Street

Our third week on tour concluded with a screening at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The BCNC is celebrating their 40th anniversary of serving the Chinatown community this year, and the organization is having a celebration gala in a couple of weeks on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at the center’s two buildings at 885 Washington Street and 38 Ash Street. When Rae and I arrived, we initially went to the Washington address and were confused when we couldn’t find anyone who knew about the screening. Fortunately, a passerby told us to go across the street to the other BCNC location. Apologies to anyone who came to the screening who first went to the Washington address!

After setting up the projector and tinkering with the image and color settings, we were ready to go around 12:40. Following an introduction by Carmen Chan from the BCNC, Rae and I gave our 10-minute presentation before starting the film. We had to duck out during the screening to be interviewed by a reporter from the World Journal. We were also interviewed by the Sing Tao Daily after the screening. We’ll try to pick up copies of the newspaper when we’re in New York tomorrow.

We had our most spirited discussion during the Q&A session. There was considerable debate among the attendees about the role of feminism versus nationalism in Qiu Jin’s life. Which was more important of the two? Could the two exist separately or were they intricately entwined within each other. This is the question that scholars have been asking for years about Qiu Jin, and there is no right or wrong answer; it’s up to interpretation and one’s own opinion! It was great to see the guests debating each other during the Q&A; it shows that people are reacting to the film! Here’s a video from the discussion:

In addition there was one scholar in the room who pointed out some potential mistakes in the film that we may want to address in a future screening (and DVD) version of Autumn Gem.

Following the screening, we had a late lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with my high school buddy, David, and his friends, Jessica, Dawn and Arnold. Aside from my friend Rod in Denver, David is the person whom I’ve known the longest — since elementary school! We reminisced about Spreckels, Country Day, San Diego, playing pool, and about old friends now in high places. I’ve said it many times on this blog, but one of the great benefits of taking Autumn Gem on tour is that we’ve been able to see so many of our friends and relatives. That alone is worth the price of admission!

After lunch, Rae and I braved hard rain and strong winds over nearly five and a half hours as we drove back to New Jersey from Boston. We’re now on the homestretch for this tour, with three more screenings on the docket. We’ve added another screening in Delaware at the Chinese American Community Center in Hockessin on Wednesday. On Monday, we’ll be spending our free day in New York City. Any ideas on what to visit?

Here are photos from the screening at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. Additional photos are provided by Anh Ðào Kolbe.

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2 thoughts on “Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center Screening Recap and Photos

  1. Franklin Fung

    I “sort” of agree with the comments expressed by the gentleman at the end of your video that gender or feminism was not an issue with the behavior of 秋瑾. 秋瑾 called herself 鉴湖女侠. The importance was the last characher 侠 which carries a special meaning in Chinese and there is no Ebglish equivalent. These people’s 侠 behavior are examplified by western folk story hero such as “Robin Hood”.

    Her husband was an official in the Ching government and she detested their behaviors. She seperated with him by splitting the money and went to Japan where eventually she met those Chinese people who were organizing the revolution against the Manchurian controlled Chinese country. Among these people were 孫中山, 馮自由(my grandfather) and 梁慕光 etc. Through 馮自由’s introduction she joint the 三合会. That was the beginning of her revolution activities. Before she was caught in 绍兴, she had the oportunity to escape but chose to remain.

    My “opinion” of her choosing the route of martyr is of three folds: a) The obvious one, was that “革命要流血才会成功”, b) the government would not involve others if she was caught, c) the real subconcious motivation behind it was that she was absolutely dispair of her life: the failure of her marriage, family and that all things she did were failure.
    She was 33 year old.

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