Post Screening discussion with Brigitta Lee, Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern Chinese Literature at the University of Arizona. She has studied in Taipei and Beijing with the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies, and in Guilin, China. While her primary focus is on literary studies, her research and teaching interests extend to other fields, including history and cultural memory studies. Dr. Lee teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the East Asian Studies department.
Part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council with additional funding provided by Ventana Charitable Foundation, The Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding, University of Arizona School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and The Aurora Foundation of Southern Arizona. Click here to view the films and schedule.
Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution tells the remarkable love story of human rights activist Kirsty Sword and political prisoner Xanana Gusmão. Once an aspiring documentary filmmaker, Kirsty instead became a revolutionary, working in Jakarta for the Timorese resistance. Using the pseudonym “Ruby Blade,” she smuggled video equipment, computers, and audio cassettes to their leader Gusmão, who was serving a life sentence in the notorious Cipinang Prison. As they exchanged letters, video messages, paintings, photographs and even bonsai trees, they fell in love without ever having met. Through archival footage, accounts from friends, and interviews with Sword herself, the film not only explores their remarkable relationship, but also the history of a decade of resistance that ultimately led to the UN-organized referendum on East Timor in 1999 and the country’s independence. (Dir. by Alex Meillier, 2012, USA/Australia, 78 mins., Not Rated)