Join the East Asian Studies Center and the Institute for Chinese Studies for a screening and discussion of René Balcer and Carolyn Hsu-Balcer's documentary film Above the Drowning Sea. The film is a documentary about Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe who, at a time when all doors were closed to them, found sanctuary in Shanghai thanks to the intervention of Chinese diplomat Feng Shan Ho. As Chinese consul in Vienna, Ho defied the Nazis and his own government by issuing travel visas to the desperate refugees. The film tells the story from the point of view of the refugees and the Chinese people who sheltered them. In light of today's refugee crisis, an inspiring poetic tale about two peoples who found common cause and dignity in a world in chaos.
An award-winning film, Above the Drowning Sea won the Golden Dragon Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Ferrara Film Festival, was nominated for the Knight Award for Documentary Achievement at the Miami Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Pasadena International Film Festival.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the Balcers, both of whom make films covering a range of contemporary social issues and art.
Xu Bing - Above the Drowning Sea Flyer.pdf
René Balcer is well known as the showrunner, head writer and executive producer of the iconic television series Law & Order, and as the co-creator and showrunner of its hit spin-off series Law & Order Criminal Intent. His latest production is Law & Order True Crime - The Menendez Murders, an eight-part limited series for NBC starring Edie Falco.
René has also written and produced award-winning documentaries on art and China, and has recently completed Above the Drowning Sea, a documentary about Jewish refugees in China.
He has won an Emmy, the Peabody Award, a Writers Guild of America Award and four Edgar Awards for his television work. His writing on social issues has been recognized with awards from Planned Parenthood, the Alliance for Justice, the American Bar Association and other organizations.
Carolyn Hsu-Balcer is a designer, philanthropist and art collector based in Los Angeles and New York.
As a philanthropist, Carolyn has worked to foster Sino-American understanding through education and culture. Her interest in cross-cultural exchanges has led her to organize ground-breaking exhibits of Chinese art including “Xu Bing Tobacco Project Virginia” (2011 VMFA), “Light Before Dawn” (2013 Asia Society Hong Kong), “Blooming in the Shadows” (2011 China Institute NY), “Ming Cho Lee: A Retrospective” (2011 Ningbo Museum), and “Oil and Water: Re-Interpreting Ink” (2014 MOCA NY).
Carolyn has produced award-winning documentaries on Chinese art, including The No Name Painting Association and Xu Bing Tobacco Project Virginia. In publishing, she has sponsored the publication of a 13-volume catalogue of the works of the Wuming group of Chinese artists, and the publication of “Ai Wei Wei: New York Photographs 1983-1993.”
Free and open to the public
This event is sponsored in part by the Melton Center for Jewish Studies, OSU Hillel, the Department of History of Art, and a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.