Monday, March 30, 2009

Sad Fish Director Le-Van Kiet: World Premiere at 4th Biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival

Orchid Lam Quynh in Sad Fish
The Vietnamese International Film Festival in its fourth permutation returns to UC Irvine and the Southland starting Thursday, 2 April, with 60 films from the diverse Vietnamese diaspora as well as from Vietnam.
Monday's (March 30, 2009) Subversity radio show highlights Sad Fish, a locally made new independent film with its world premiere Saturday 4 April at UCI's HIB 100 at 7:30 p.m. as part of VIFF.

Directed by indie filmmaker Le-Van Kiet, Sad Fish stars established actress Kieu Chinh (Joy Luck Club, Journey from the Fall) , newcomer Orchid Lam Quynh (a UCI aluma), Long Nguyen (Journey from the Fall) and Jayvee Hiep Mai (Journey from the Fall). Exquisitely filmed, Sad Fish, a drama tinged with comedy, tells drenching stories of unconventional lives from Little Saigon, California, portrayals of nostalgia for homeland but also of daily routines of longings, relationships and domestic turmoil that transgress conventional boundaries. The film also depicts male intimacy and tension between "Happy Together"-type characters played by actors Jayvee and Long.

On Monday's show, we talk with Sad Fish director Kiet, who was last on Subversity in April, 2007, when VIFF then showcased his earlier gritty visual depiction of OC gang life in Bui Doi, The Dust of Life.

Audio of that earlier interview:

A wine reception for Sad Fish hosted by UCI's new Vietnamese alumni group, Vietnamese American Community Ambassadors (VACA), starts this Saturday at 5 p.m. at UCI's Cross Cultural Center. For more information and ticket info,, see: ttp:// For more information on the film and other films showing at VIFF, go to:

To listen to the show, click here:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surveillance of Muslims in Orange County and Beyond

Recent revelations that the FBI has been infiltrating local mosques to spy on mosque-goers have cast a chill on the local Islamic community. On our 23 March 2009 show, we discuss the impact with Ameena Mirza Qazi Staff Attorney of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater-Los Angeles Area Chapter.

News about such surveillance is not new. According to OC Register columnist Frank Mikadeit back in May 2006: "Earlier in the week,Pat Rose, head of the Orange County's FBI al-Qaida squad, told me and about 25 others at the breakfast that her agency was seeking out terrorists here through a variety of electronic eavesdropping techniques and that her agency is 'quite surprised' that 'there are a lot of individuals of interest right here in Orange County.'

"When asked by someone whether we should be concerned about all the Muslim students at UCI, she responded, 'Another tough question to answer.' Not only does UCI have a lot, she said, but so does USC. 'I think we need to be concerned with everybody ... with our next-door neighbor.' " [Source: Frank Mikadeit, Monitoring by the FBI and a mea culpa Local Muslims react to FBI spying, OC Register, 30 May 2006.].

Although the FBI denied it was spying on UCI students, in 2007 an FBI agent was involved in an altercation with a UCI student. See: FBI actions at UCI questioned: Muslim student says he feared agent was going to run him over; bureau says cinderblock was thrown at car. By Marla Jo Fisher, OC Register, 18 May 2007.

Recent news:

OC Weekly:

A Look at Craig Monteilh, Who Says He Spied on the Islamic Center of Irvine for the Feds by Matt Coker, OC Weekly, 4 March 2009:

LA Times:

OC Muslims say FBI surveillance has a chilling effect: Use of an informant in Orange County leads some to avoid mosques and cut charitable giving, by Teresa Watanabe and Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times, 1 March 2009:


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Chinese in North Vietnam

The issue of overseas Chinese and the politics of the homeland are often studied by scholars but relatively little attention has been paid to the Chinese who lived in North Vietnam before the country was reunited.

In our next show, airing Monday 16 March 2009 from 9-10 a.m. Pacific time on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, California, we talk with one scholar, Han Xiaorong from Butler University, who has done just that, focusing his research on Chinese living in North Vietnam from 1954 to 1978. The show is also simulcast via

"Spoiled Guests or Dedicated Patriots? The Chinese in North Vietnam, 1954-1978" by Xiaorong HAN, International Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 6, Issue 01, January 2009, pp. 1-36 (access licensed to UCI users)

HAN Xiaorong was born in China. He received his BA in history from Xiamen (Amoy) University, an MA in ethnic studies from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an MA in anthropology from Tulane University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii. He was a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for five years and has taught Chinese and Asian history at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, Trinity College, the National University of Singapore, and Butler University in Indianapolis. He is now associate professor of the Department of History and Anthropology at Butler University. His research interests focus on state and ethnic minorities, intellectuals and peasants, and nationalist and Communist movements in twentieth century China, as well as Sino-Vietnamese interactions. Other publications include The Chinese Discourses on the Peasant, 1900-1949 (SUNY Press, 2005), "Who Invented the Bronze Drum?--Nationalism, Politics and a Sino-Vietnamese Archaeological Debate of the 1970s and 1980s," and "Localism in Chinese Communist Politics Before and After 1949--The Case of Feng Baiju."

To listen to the show, click here:

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Reporter's Life: David Reyes and the Los Angeles Times

This past Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times killed its Orange County edition. We look back at an era in print journalism when the newspaper won Pulitzers and covered ethnic communities and OC and San Diego counties, in depth. Tune in Monday 9 March at 9 a.m. for a conversation with longtime Times staff writer, now retired, David Reyes.

David Reyes has had more than 30 years reporting experience for major dailies and weeklies in Los Angeles, Orange County, Oregon, and San Diego. He has shared in two Pulitzer prizes, a 1992 spot news reporting of the Los Angles riots while at the Los Angeles Times and in 1984 the Gold Medal for in-depth series on Latinos in Southern California, again with the LA Times. He has covered education, the legal system, immigration, government and transportation. While in Orange County, he wrote The Times� first surfing column for the edition. He is a member of the Chicano News Media Assn., and a founding member of the National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists.
Joining us in the conversation is OC Voice publisher John Earl, who remembers growing up reading a meaty Los Angeles Times.

To listen to the show, click here:

David Reyes also profiled Subversity and its host 15 years ago (March 14, 1994) in the L.A. Times: "UCI Lecturer, Mentor Out `to Change Society' " From that article:
His [Dan's] newest project, a one-hour radio talk show on KUCI, the student radio station, is billed as an "alternative view of what's behind the Orange Curtain." Guests and subjects have included supporters of gay teen-agers at Fountain Valley High School, decriminalizing prostitution, and gang hysteria in Orange County.

"This is a call-in format," Tsang, .. said. "I'm asking critical questions of my guests, and people get to call in."

The program doesn't attempt balance. "I don't do the other side," Tsang said. "All my shows are like that." After all, he said, the 4 p.m. Tuesday show is titled "Subversity."
For those with UCI access the URL for the full text is here.
Subversity now airs 9 am Mondays, on KUCI, 889 FM in Orange County, Calif., and is simulcast via the web via No callins though (I can't interview and answer calls).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Iranian Women Today

To commemorate International Women's Day, Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, focuses on its Monday 2 March 2009 show (9-10 a.m.) on the struggles of Iranian women within and without Iran.

We talk, through an interpreter, with C. Sussan, an Iranian women living in exile in Europe, who has traveled to southern California to build for the International Women's Day events at Pico and Westwood in Westwood on March 7 (1 pm rally and march kickoff).

In the late 1970s Sussan lived in the U.S. and was part of the Iranian student movement against the brutal U.S.-backed Shah of Iran. She returned to Iran after the Shah's overthrow and took part in the struggle against the Khomeini regime. She was imprisoned for her political activity, was tortured and later released. After many years she was allowed to leave Iran. Throughout the years in exile she has continued to oppose and organize resistance against the Iranian regime as part of the March 8 Women's Organization.

To listen to the show, click here: