Asian Studies in Video is an online streaming video collection from Alexander Street Press of nearly 600 narrative feature films, documentaries, and shorts. With Asian voices addressing Asian issues, and through works selected by Asian film experts, the collection offers highly relevant perspectives and insights. Its themes—such as modernity, globalization, national identity, female agency, inequalities in opportunity amid social and political unrest, and cultural and sexual identity—are central to any meaningful discussion of Asian culture.
More than 75 percent of the films stream exclusively in Asian Studies in Video, and more than 60 percent are award winners. Twenty-four countries across the region are represented, with a strong concentration on China, India, Iran, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. The collection features internationally acclaimed directors such as:
- Xie Fei, an award winner from China (A Girl from Hunan; Black Snow; Woman from the Lake of Scented Souls; A Mongolian Tale; Song of Tibet).
- Iranian new-wave director Dariush Mehrjui (The Cycle; Pari; The Lodgers; Mum’s Guest).
- Leading Indonesian director Garin Nugroho (And the Moon Dances; A Poet; Bird Man Tale).
- South Korean feminist documentarian Kim Soyoung (Koryu: Southern Woman; New Woman: Her First Song; I’ll Be Seeing Her: Images of Women in Korean Cinema).
Also included are works that have rarely been seen outside their native countries, from filmmakers including Adoor Gopalakrishnan (India), Kim Dong Won (South Korea), and James Lee (Malaysia).
Coverage of West Asia (Middle East) includes filmmakers from Iran (Majid Majidi, The Color of Paradise and Baran), Lebanon (Jocelyn Saab, Kiss Me Not on the Eyes), and Iraq (Shawkat Amin Korki, Crossing the Dust), who offer personal perspectives and alternative analyses of events in their homelands. Asian Studies in Video also includes more than 30 films highlighting Persia’s rich history and the diverse societies that define the country, each paired with a contextual video introduction from a leading film scholar or expert.
In addition to providing a general introduction to Asia and the Pacific, the collection is particularly valuable for scholarship in Asian studies, Middle Eastern studies, political science, postcolonial theory and criticism, anthropology, and linguistics. The works also explore a wide variety of cinematic styles and techniques relevant to the study of film, literature, and the visual and performing arts.
Other highlights of the collection include:
- Five internationally acclaimed films by Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel.
- A strong selection of Sri Lankan films directed by Prassana Vithanage, Asoka Handagama, and Dharmasna Pathiraja, of particular relevance to South Asian scholars.
- Fourteen of the significant films made by “sixth generation” filmmakers, as discussed by Dr. Sun Shaoyi and Li Xun in their book Lights! Camera! Kai Shi!: In-depth Interviews with China’s New Generation of Movie Directors.
- The Water Cries, a 16-part series produced by CCTV in China, which examines the largely untold story of water rights in China’s past, present, and future.
All the films are indexed by filmmaker, country, language, genre, theme, and original language. Subtitles and synopses further expand accessibility. Additional functionality will be available in mid-2013, when films will become available in streaming format through the Alexander Street Video unified cross-search platform.
Asian Studies in Video is available worldwide through annual subscription, with prices scaled to library budget and size.
(ACCESS added 4 January 2013)