The San Diego Union Tribune: Asian Film Festival showcase includes ‘Right to Resist’ series

The San Diego Asian Film Festival will screen more than 20 films from 10 countries during its Spring Showcase April 20-27 at Ultrastar Mission Valley.The festival, sponsored by Pacific Arts Movement (Pac Arts), opened April 20 with a 7 p.m. showing of “Poi E: The Story of Our Song.” It’s a New Zealand documentary about how Dalvanius Prime, known as New Zealand’s Godfather of Soul, teamed up with choral masters of the Patea Maori Club in 1983 to make the first Maori pop hit, now considered the country’s unofficial national anthem.

On Sunday, April 23, is an all-day event, “Right to Resist: From 9066 to 2017,” which the festival organizers say is the first-ever curated selection of documentaries focusing on resistance from the 1940s to today. The eight films, ranging in length from 3 to 82 minutes, will be shown starting at 1 p.m. They chronicle resistance, from Fred Korematsu’s landmark Supreme Court case against Japanese American incarceration during World War, II to Farouk Abdel-Muhti’s activism in response to the detention of Muslim Americans post-9/11.

“This year marks 75 years after Executive Order 9066, which called upon the military to administer concentration camps for Japanese Americans,” said Pac Arts artistic director Brian Hu, “It is critical to remember that there were those who refused to show up for mass incarceration, there were those who spoke out against the conditions of their detention, there were those who demanded redress, and there were those who furiously said ‘never again.’ In 2017, ‘never again’ is not just a slogan for future generations, but a warning for the current one.”

The eight-day showcase ends on Thursday, April 27, with a 7 p.m. showing of “Gook,” the story of two Korean-American brothers operating a shoe store in South Central Los Angeles who find themselves caught up in the racial tension and riots that erupt after the 1992 Rodney King verdict.

General admission for the films is $12-$15; it’s $9.50 for students, seniors and military personnel. All films will be shown at Ultrastar Mission Valley, located in Hazard Center. For more information and the full schedule, go to