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Yen Ching

76 MIN

Filmmakers scheduled to attend



Director: Saif Alsaegh



documentary • Arabic, English with English subtitles • 2018 • 12 MIN

Finding the personal in the political, Alsaegh meditates on the distance between himself (a MFA student in Milwaukee) and his mother (an Iraqi immigrant living in Turkey). This poignant documentary examines the ways cultural rituals intersect with traumatic legacies of war. (ZZ)

section: Wisconsin's Own



Director: Yinan Wang

Producer: Yujing Wang



Yen Ching

documentary • Chinese, English with English subtitles • 2018 • Digital • China • 64 MIN

What starts as an appetizing, nuts-and-bolts documentary about Milwaukee's beloved Yen Ching restaurant ends as a layered and moving portrait of intergenerational differences and the Chinese-American immigrant experience. First-in, last-out owner Guishan Chen commands the screen with his energy, humor, and thriftiness—he buys 3, 000 new plates to clean after hours, for instance, rather than pay a dishwasher who skips work. Before long, however, Chen's patient and devout wife, Alan Lin, and their two sons come into view. When their youngest, Xin, returns from college expected to carry the family torch, his curt objections reflect age-old tensions and contemporary economic and cultural realities. Wang's mature vérité style, attentive to the complexities of familial interaction and off-screen sound, mark this as an astounding feature debut. (ZZ)

section: Wisconsin's Own


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