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12/26/2014 by Yulanda Wang
A documentary film entitled Nowhere to Call Home, produced by independent documentary filmmaker Jocelyn Ford, was screened at Peking University in Beijing on December 24.
Taking place in Beijing and in the protagonist’s rural hometown, the movie follows the story of a female Tibetan farmer named Zanta, who confronts her father-in-law after he prevents her 7-year-old son from attending school. Defying her adversity and trying to ensure the best quality of life for her son, Zanta moves to Beijing with her son and makes ends meet by selling Tibetan jewelry. The movie highlights the gender discrimination that women in Zanta’s traditional villiage face every day and portrays the shocking and unfortunate truth of how many members of minority groups lack even basic education. Also shown in the film is the inequality that Tibetan women face within their marriage, as demonstrated by the interactions between Zanta and the members of her extended family. Her father-in-law is violent toward her and treats her as if she is his property, and her family is bullied in the village for having no sons and because her father is too old to fight.
The film’s producer, Ms. Ford, was a veteran radio journalist, having worked in Tokyo and Beijing as well as for Marketplace, a radio program in association with the University of Southern California and which focuses on business and economy. She has been a reporter focusing on Asia for over 30 years. In the 1990s, her groundbreaking report on “comfort women” revealed to people the horrific abuse and torment to which Korean women, Chinese women and women from other countries were subjected by the Japanese army during World War II.