Irvine -- On the 19 May edition of KUCI's Subversity program, we talked with independent film director Yung Chang, whose exquisite documentary, "Up the Yangtze," has opened nationally. In the second part of the program, we bring you highlights from the APIAVote Town Hall at UC Irvine, which heard from Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, as they reached out to the API community. John McCain did not appear but sent a surrogate, Assemblyman Van Tran. Third party candidates were not included.
Just days after a devastating earthquake hit southwestern China, the opening of "Up the Yangtze" gives audiences a cinematic look at more of the travails faced by ordinary Chinese as their county embraces modernization. Yung Chang, a Canadian Chinese filmmaker, talks about why he made his film, an "Upstairs. Downstairs" take on the crew and tourists on a luxury cruise ship that traverses the Yangtze as the Three Gorges dam project moves inexorably to its completion. His film focuses on two workers on the ship: a cocky and handsome young man who explains how he charms tourists to part with their tips, and a more quiet young girl who toils to clean dishes, a job she needs to help bring income to her family whose home is destroyed and flooded by the Three Gorges project. Chang talks about how progress in China is very complicated. He also explains how his film led to brighter futures for both workers; the film's web site indicates how one can help.