With Subtitles

We had a good turnout for last night’s screening of Speaking in Tongues at the DocYard; I cried (little kids can get to you), and the film made a strong case for bilingual education.

If it’s too late for you to start Chinese-immersion kindergarten, second-language films are one way to get exposure. From August 26 – 29, the Boston Street Lab and Asian Community Development Corporation are presenting an outdoor screening series, Films at the Gate, in collaboration with Chinatown residents:

“Every summer, a vacant lot near Boston’s Chinatown Gate becomes a free, outdoor theater, showing Kung-Fu and classic Chinese-language films under the stars.”

The movies are in Chinese with English subtitles. Part of the goal is to provide the kind of social public viewing experience that used to be available in Chinatown movie theatres, now closed: “At the Star and China cinemas in the 1970s and 80s, concessions consisted of vending machine-goods, bags of popcorn, and fortune cookies brought in by the owner. Patrons often brought in their own food as well. Jackie Chan movies were especially popular.”

I like how a film series like this one might bring together two different language communities living in the same city (instead of only serving English-speakers taking in a foreign film). Be on the lookout for the Films at the Gate schedule and more news from the Boston Street Lab, also behind the wonderful Chinatown Storefront Library.

For those working on French skills, Agnes Varda’s The Beaches of Agnes is streaming through POV’s website until August 14 – practice not looking at the subtitles.

– Nellie

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