Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film

Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017. Courtesy of Tuan Andrew Nguyen and James Cohan, New York.

Free tickets coming soon!

The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, co-present Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film, a special film program showcasing recent documentary, art, and feature-length films by Southeast Asian filmmakers. Topics range from struggles with transgender identity in Finding Phong (2015) by Tran Phuong Thao and Swann Dubus to Malila: The Farewell Flower (2017), Anucha Boonyawatana’s meditation on love, loss, and mortality between two former gay lovers, to Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s The Island (2017), a dystopian art film shot on the Malaysian island of Pulau Bidong−the site of the largest and longest-operating refugee camp after the Vietnam War.

Stories from the Farther Shore coincides with Dinh Q. Lê: True Journey Is Return (September 14, 2018–April 7, 2019), an exhibition organized by SJMA highlighting the acclaimed Vietnamese artist’s video and photography installations that gives voice to multiple, simultaneous stories about Vietnamese life and the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The films presented in this program offer a similarly nuanced portrait of Southeast Asia, focused on contemporary issues both at home and abroad. At a time of growing hostility to immigrant and refugee experiences in the United States, the films in this program will join the exhibition in giving voice to complex, humanized stories of identity and homeland, loss and survival, tradition and modernity.


Light and Belief: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War
Directed by Dinh Q. Lê. Vietnam 2011. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 36 min.

Followed by a conversation with artist Dinh Q. Lê.

Owl and the Sparrow (Cú Và Chim Se Sè)
Directed by Stephane Gauger. Vietnam 2008. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 97 min.

Followed by a conversation with producer Jenni Trang Le.

Flapping In the Middle of Nowhere (Dap Cánh Giua Không Trung)
Directed by Nguyen Hoang Diep. Vietnam 2014. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 98 min.

The Island 
Directed by Tuan Andrew Nguyen. Vietnam 2017. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 42 min.

San José Stories: The Vietnamese Diaspora
A video mapped documentary by Robin Lasser. From the series Migratory Cultures by Robin Lasser + G. Craig Hobbs. USA 2019.

The Tailor (Cô Ba Sài Gòn)
Directed by Tran Buu Loc and Kay Nguyen. Vietnam 2017. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 90 min.

Finding Phong
Directed by Tran Phuong Thao and Swann Dubus. Vietnam 2015. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 92 min.

Diamond Island
Directed by Davy Chou. Cambodia 2016. Khmer with English subtitles. 101 min.

Vientiane in Love
Directed by Anysay Keola, Phanumad Disattha, Vannaphone Sitthirath, and Xaisongkham Induangchanthy. Laos 2015. Lao with English subtitles. 105 min.

Malila: The Farewell Flower
Directed by Anucha Boonyawatana. Thailand 2017. Thai with English subtitles. 96 min.

Nailed It
Directed by Adele Free Pham. USA 2017. English and Vietnamese with English subtitles. 59 min.

Madam Phung’s Last Journey
Directed by Nguyen Thi Tham. Vietnam 2014. Vietnamese with English subtitles. 87 min.

Memories of My Body (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku)
Directed by Garin Nugroho. Indonesia 2018. Indonesian and Javanese with English subtitles. 105 min.


Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Samsung Hall
200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

California College of the Arts
Timken Auditorium, Main Building, SF Campus
1111 8th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
Castellano Playhouse
510 S 1st St, San José, CA 95113

San José Museum of Art
Wendel Education Center
110 S Market St, San José, CA 95113

San José Museum of Art
Circle of Palms
110 S Market St, San José, CA 95113

3Below Theaters & Lounge
288 S 2nd St, San José, CA 95113

Tully Library
880 Tully Rd, San José, CA 95121



The San José Museum of Art reflects the diverse cultures and innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. Through its exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and collections, SJMA connects the present and the past, the art of the West Coast and the world. The Museum fosters awareness of artists’ broad contributions to society and engages audiences with the art of our time and the vitality of the creative process.

The San José Museum of Art is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm and until 8pm or later on the third Thursday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors. Members, 18 years and under, and students and teachers with a valid ID are admitted free. For more information, call 408.271.6840 or visit


Through the power of art, the Asian Art Museum connects you to the past, present and future of Asia. More than 18,000 awe-inspiring artworks ranging from ancient jades and ceramics to contemporary video installations immerse you in the magnificent artistic achievements and intriguing history of the world’s most populous continent. Dynamic special exhibitions, cultural celebrations and public programs engage your imagination, unlocking the past and sparking questions about the future. For more information, call 415.581.3500 or visit

Stories from the Farther Shore: Southeast Asian Film is organized by Rory Padeken, SJMA associate curator.

This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Asian Cultural Council.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

San José Museum of Art
Asian Art Museum San Francisco
California Humanities
asian cultural council