“It awakens other people’s creativity,” said Yeh. “We all have that power potential and that is really what my work and the film is, that we all have the power to change our surroundings, our own lives for a better, more harmonious future.”
The filmmakers point out that Yeh’s community art inspires people in much the same way that her family story has held a mirror up to people’s own family histories.
“I’m hoping that people are inspired like I was by this terrific, creative force … but the fearlessness is what I admire most,” said Holsten. “She went head on into the family situation. We all have family skeletons, but how many of us open the closet and face them. Rather than live with a feeling of guilt or remorse, she decided to do something about it and that’s one thing that I admire greatly.”
“There is much healing in “The Barefoot Artist,” Glenn Holsten and Daniel Traub’s fascinating documentary portrait of the artist Lily Yeh.”
Read the full review here.
The Barefoot Artist
A visually stunning and deeply emotional film, THE BAREFOOT ARTIST chronicles the long and colorful life of Lily Yeh, a Philadelphia-based artist who has committed herself to creating community-based art projects in some of the world’s most troubled areas. The film explores two sides of Lily’s life that are connected parts of the same journey: her international ventures helping to heal weakened spirits in communities around the world, and a personal journey within to repair her own fractured family.
NoHo 7 on Dec 18th – 24th
Director: Daniel Traub, Glenn Holsten
Editor: Ann Tegnell
Runtime: 83 min
Language: English, Kinyardwanda, Mandarin
Spread the word about this film! This is it’s Academy Award qualifying run!
The Barefoot Artist is making Academy Award qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles this December.
If you are in the New York City area, we invite you to see our film at the IFC between 12/5 and 12/11.
Directed by: Glenn Holsten & Daniel Traub
Edited by: Ann Tegnell
Opens Friday, December 5
- Click on the time to purchase tickets for a screening.
- Fri, Dec 5 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Sat, Dec 6 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Sun, Dec 7 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Mon, Dec 8 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Tue, Dec 9 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Wed, Dec 10 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
- Thu, Dec 11 at: 12:35 PM, 2:10 PM, 3:45 PM, 7:35 PM
Filmmakers in person Fri at 7:35!
Lily Yeh is a global artist who is fueled by a belief that art is a human right, and that artists can create a foundation for profound social change. Slight of frame, but large in spirit and vision, the 70-year-old artist was born in China, lives in Philadelphia, and now, as constant traveler, the world is her canvas.
Our film explores two sides of Lily’s life that are connected parts of the same journey: her international ventures helping to heal weakened spirits in communities in North America, Africa, China, and India, and a personal journey within, to repair her own fractured family. To embrace the latter, Lily embarks on a trip to China to trace her father’s life, in hopes of resolving life-long guilt that was passed from father to daughter.
THE BAREFOOT ARTIST traces Lily’s evolution as an artist – from her first exposure to Chinese landscape painting as a young girl in China to the hauntingly beautiful memorial she designed to honor the victims of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It shows her methodology for community building – using art as the foundation – which she has developed over many years as she has worked in impoverished communities around the world. Finally, it reveals the source of her quest, and the personal costs of a life committed to the public.
NR, 83 Minutes
In advance of the Kimmel Center screening, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Melissa Dribben has written a great article about our newly slimmed down cut of The Barefoot Artist titled “Why ‘Barefoot Artist’ Lily Yeh does what she does’. Check it out!
We are looking at an already full house, so a very exciting night ahead.
It is with great pleasure we announce that the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival is hosting a special screening of The Barefoot Artist movie at the Kimmel Center on Thursday, May 15 at 7:00 pm.
Tickets are free (but required) and the Kimmel Center asks that you RSVP in advance. Please follow this link to reserve your seat.
The screening, made possible by the generous support of the Wyncote Foundation, will be followed by a Q&A with Lily Yeh and co-directors Daniel Traub and Glenn Holsten. Editor Ann Tegnell will, naturally, be in attendance.
For those of you who attended the preview screening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, know that the piece has been shortened and refined. We hope you like it even more!
If you aren’t in the Philadelphia area, please check the list of upcoming screenings to see when the film will be in your area. You can now also order a DVD of The Barefoot Artist for public and private use.
A film by Alice Rothchild and Sharon Mullally, Voices Across the Divide is a powerful documentary and oral history project exploring the Israeli/Palestinian conflict through rarely heard personal stories. Narrated by Alice Rothchild, an American Jew raised on the tragedies of the Holocaust and the dream of a Jewish homeland in Israel, Voices Across the Divide follows her personal journey as she begins to understand the Palestinian narrative, while exploring the Palestinian experience of loss, occupation, statelessness, and immigration to the US.
In a recent article from the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Voices Across the Divide is praised and discussed.
“History is told by the people who win the wars,” Rothchild said. “It’s not told by the people who lose. How many years did it take for us to learn about Native Americans and Japanese internment? A long time — the same is true for this history.”
As a Jew, Rothchild knows many Jews don’t want to hear the Palestinian story and to bear witness that the once-victims are victimizing others.
“It means owning our responsibility,” Rothchild said. “Once you own responsibility, you have to deal with some type of restorative justice. You have to say I’m sorry. You have to compensate people, and you cannot do that until you face the original truth of the original history.”
Upcoming screenings of Voices include:
Congregation Tikkun v’Or, May 2, 2014, 7:30 pm, candle lighting and short service followed by film screening, 2550 N Triphammer Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, Q&A with director
Cinemapolis, May 4, 2014, 2:00 pm, 120 E. Green Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, Q&A with Director. Tickets
Arlington International Film Festival, May 30, 2014, 7:00 pm, Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA, Q&A with director
World Fellowship Center, August 3, 2014, 10:00 am, 368 Drake Hill Road, Albany NH 03818
Palestine Film Festival at the Red River Theater, October 5, 2014, 2:00 pm, 11 S. Main Street, Suite L1-1, Concord, NH 03301, Q&A with director
Over 20 years after the signing of Peace Accords in El Salvador, and in the light of recent events concerning the security of hard-won human rights documents, this discussion is very important. It also confirms the timeliness of our very personal film, Niños de la Memoria.
Panelists are: David Morales – Human Rights Ombudsman of El Salvador, Dr. Terry Karl – Gildred Professor of Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science, Stanford University, and Héctor Silva Avalos – Fellow, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University.
Please follow this link to the discussion.
Here is further background information on the discussion published by the event sponsors, The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University
Following the end of El Salvador’s 13-year civil in 1992, the country’s legislature passed a General Amnesty Law. For years, the law has provided generalized protection against prosecutions for human rights abuses committed during the conflict. But the years of amnesty may be coming to an end: El Salvador’s Constitutional Court has recently agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the law, and a decision is expected in the next few months. The appeal follows last year’s ruling by Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), which found that the amnesty law conflicts with international human rights standards. The IACHR directed Salvadoran authorities to consider the law null.
Overturning the amnesty would dramatically change the status quo in El Salvador. The Attorney General would be free to open investigations and carry out prosecutions in a number of well-known cases, such as the 1981 El Mozote massacre and the 1989 massacre of six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter. Prosecuting these cases would test the Salvadoran judicial system’s capacity to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate impartially and without fear or favor.
The prospect that the amnesty might be overturned has generated intense debate in El Salvador about the amnesty, the role of the Constitutional Court, and how the Attorney General might respond. This debate is also taking place in a moment in which the integrity of human rights archives in El Salvador is in question. Tutela Legal, the human rights office of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, was abruptly closed in early October, and there is uncertainty about how the Archdiocese will manage Tutela’s records, which constitute one of the largest human rights archives in the country. The archives of Pro-Búsqueda, an organization that attempts to identify children who disappeared during the war and re-connect them with their birth families, were recently destroyed by armed men who burst into the organization’s offices at night. If the amnesty were to be overturned and prosecutions to move forward, the contents of these records—and, in turn, their protection—will be more important than ever.
This panel will discuss the challenges in protecting human rights records, the prospects for overturning the amnesty and the challenges that will present for the Constitutional Court, the Attorney General, and the judicial system.