This Sunday there will be a special screening of The Invisible Red Thread at The Center for East Asian Studies at Kansas University at the Lawrence Arts Center. It will be followed by a panel discussion, with three specials guests: Sophie Tate (19), Juliana Hacker (19 – who also happens to be Center Outreach Coordinator Randi Hacker’s daughter), and Grace Oliver (19). The three girls are all Chinese adoptees who can relate to the film’s main characters, Vivian and Shumin, and will then share their thoughts and reactions with the crowd.
Although the girl’s don’t know each other, they share a similar experience. The screening of The Invisible Red Thread was actually suggested to Center Outreach Coordinator Randi Hacker by one of the young panelists, Sophie Tate. Sophie is a student at Skidmore college at Saratoga, and as an honors program student she must complete a citizenship project, exploring her culture in a personal way and then writing a paper about her experience. After watching The Invisible Red Thread, Sophie called The Center to ask if they could help her screen the film. Hacker says they happily accepted.
“Not only does it look at the child from Toronto but it also has a great component about contemporary life in China. The girls have all been raised in a similar environment to Vivian’s in Toronto, which is to say indulged and very western. When I saw the film, I came away with the fact that Shumin was way more capable than Vivian… she could provide for her family, she could chop with a big knife…. I want them to come away from the film maybe thinking they should work on their survival skills, or maybe even just come away thinking how lucky they are materialistically. ”
The goal, Hacker adds, is to focus on their experience as adoptees and their feelings of connection with China, which they all feel very strongly about.
Hacker says she expects upwards of about 50 people to attend the event, including many community members who have adoptive children from China. In fact, Hacker adopted her daughter Juliana from China 19 years ago, which is when her love for East Asian culture was born. “When I made the decision to go to China to adopt a baby, I started taking Chinese & getting myself much more involved,” she says. The writer, teacher, and proud parent left her home in New York to move Missouri to take the job at Kansas University, where she now organizes events, conferences, seminars, speakers, classes, festivals, and screenings to promote the CEAS’ mission of advancing knowledge, understanding, and interest for East Asian culture (specifically Japan China, Mongolia, and Korea) in Kansas.
Hacker says the Center for East Asian Studies at Kansas University has one of the broadest reaching outreach programs of any East Asian Studies center in the United States, interacting with over one hundred thousand people through their events, website, Facebook and their highly popular radio show “Postcards from Asia” (first broadcast in 2005 and holding the time slot right before “This American Life”). We’re delighted that The Center has decided to hold this special screening of The Invisible Red Thread.
For more information about the screening, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Randi Hacker, Center for East Asian Studies Outreach Coordinator at 785-864-3832.