Inspired by the history of the Dalits, or “untouchables,” in India, János Orsós, a schoolteacher and Buddhist of Romani descent, founded a secondary school in a village in eastern Hungary to help Romani teenagers—whose people have been victims of racist stereotyping and violence for centuries—attend universities.
During World War II, more than 200,000 young women in Korea, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia were kidnapped and coerced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army. Some 70 years later, three “grandmothers” summon the courage to tell their stories despite decades of silence and shame.
Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing turns to the war-torn northeastern border of Myanmar in Ta’ang, a documentary that follows villagers of the Ta’ang ethnic minority as they flee to China, escaping an escalating civil war. In two refugee camps, some of the displaced attempt to create reasonably safe living conditions; others go deeper into China searching for work in sugarcane fields. Ta’ang captures the constant insecurity, instability, and disorientation that come with life as a refugee as well as the complexities—and emotional toll—of the choices Ta’ang families face.
In Zhang Yang’s latest film, a surrealist take on the classic hero’s journey, Tabei, a murderer’s son, is on the run from two brothers seeking vengeance for their father’s death. After Tabei discovers a magical stone in the mouth of a deer he killed on a hunt, the fugitive cowboy encounters a lama, who tasks him with bringing the stone to a holy mountain as an act of penance. Adapted from novels by the Tibetan author Tashi Dawa, Soul on a String is an epic tale of karma, revenge, and self-discovery set against the backdrop of Tibet’s rolling steppes and scorching deserts.
Twenty-five-year-old Burmese punk musician Kyaw Kyaw is on a mission. He and his band, The Rebel Riot, travel Myanmar playing music and organizing demonstrations to raise awareness about the persecution of the country’s ethnic minorities. The band’s unique blend of ideals—one part Buddhist compassion, two parts punk rock rebellion—fuels their quest for equality and freedom for all in contemporary Myanmar.