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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Art film comes to Arkansas

From Ed Marshall, Lincoln Arkansas:

The letter refers to "Munyurangabo," the powerful new film by Lee Isaac Chung which was filmed in Rwanda.

Thank you so much for the glowing review of Isaac's work. You hit it right on the nose, this young man does exceptional work. As one of his teachers in high school he was both student and dear friend. I may be a little biased.... do you think?

Some comments about Mr. Lee Issac Chung, and Lincoln, Arkansas, and art theater in northwest Arkansas. First, however, allow me to boast just a smidge. As already said, in high school, "Lee" (I think he prefers the name Isaac now) was one of my students (World History). In 19 years of teaching I've never known a more focused young man. Issac was also the President of the school's Senior Beta Club, an honor society. We are all so proud of this young man. He and I still exchange emails once or twice each year. It was Isaac's email to me yesterday that pointed me to your Journal, and blog. (Thank's Isaac. I will forward your email on to the rest of the staff).

Lincoln has a population of about 1,800 real nice folks. Lincoln High School itself is small, very small, ca. 350 students 9th through 12th grades. Facility-wise, the school's crown jewel is a state of the art, 430 seat, theater-style auditorium that will accomodate any type of digital presentation one cares to offer. Beginning this next school year, 2009-2010, as the Beta Club sponsor, I had planned to present to the general public some sort of "cultural" event in the auditorium/theater one evening each month. This is to be the Beta Club's main fund raising effort to get some of these kids out of small-town, Lincoln, Arkansas and to Europe for two weeks NEXT summer.

Our first event will be this September. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to set up to present. I DO NOW!!! My principal has guaranteed me at least one evening each month to use the facility for such purposes. If I can make the proper $$$$$ arrangements with the distributor, and Isaac, in time for September's event, then "Munyurangabo" will be our inaugural show. What a way to jump start the whole thing! I sincerely believe that with proper advertising, i.e., NPR, community interest spots on surrounding TV stations, etc., we could get a good audience. If all goes well, we could do a different art film the following month.

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