Eastern Exposure: The Cinema of Asia

Shelly Isaacs
Movies / History

Course Description

Film, since its advent in the 19th century, has played a prominent role in Asian societies, as entertainment, as social criticism, and as propaganda. This session we turn the lens on China, Japan, Tibet and India with intimate stories that reveal universal truths.


  1. The Cup: Tibet, 1999 - Tibetan refugees arrive at a monastery/boarding school in exile in India. One of them sets out to organize the rental of a TV set for the monastery. The enterprise becomes a test of solidarity, resourcefulness and friendship.
  2. 1000 Rupee Note: India, 2014 - In this poignant exploration of money and conscience, a poor woman receives a thousand-rupee note from a politician at election time, but the note proves to be a mixed blessing.
  3. Our Little Sister: Japan, 2015 - Three sisters live together in the city of Kamakura, Japan. When their father, who has been gone for 15 years, dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral and learn they have a teenage half-sister.
  4. King of Masks: China,1999 - In 1930s China, Wang is a master of the rapidly changing face mask technique. He has no one to pass it on to and procures a son. A secret unfolds that will endanger both their lives.

About the Instructor

  • Shelly Isaacs is the founder and host for Cafe Cinematheque, where he shares his passion for film in venues throughout South Florida. Isaacs was a creative director/writer/producer and director in advertising, specializing in film, TV and radio promotion. He holds an MA in Media Ecology Studies from New York University, where he also taught graduate level courses in cultural studies. In 2009 he launched Cinematheque at Sea, making his program available on luxury cruises throughout the world.