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Panel discussion about Gran Torino with the Film’s Actors, February 20, 2009

In Gran Torino, a disgruntled Korean War vet, Walt Kowalski (played by Clint Eastwood), sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino.

In our panel discussion with Hmong actors from the film, six insiders share their stories about the production and their feelings about the film. The panel will feature several actors in the film, including stars Bee Vang (Thao Vang Lor), Ahney Her (Sue Lor) and Chee Thao (Grandma), as well as Doua Moua (Spider), Elvis Thao (Gangbanger #1 and rap artist), and Cedric Lee, production assistant and cultural consultant. In addition, Minneapolis-based comedian Tou Ger Xiong will take part as translator for Chee Thao. The panel will be moderated by Louisa Schein, a professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, and specializing in Hmong studies and Hmong media.

Part 1

Also available as an audio download (.mp3 – 53.8 MB).

Part 2

Also available as an audio download (.mp3 – 40.8 MB).

Cosponsored by the Asian American Studies Program, the Consortium for the Study of the Asias, the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, the Department of History, the Hmong Minnesota Student Association, the Immigration History Research Center, the Institute for Global Studies, and the Office for Equity and Diversity, with additional support from the IAS Transnational Film Collaborative, the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University, and St. Olaf College.

 

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