March 28, 2003

Film Premiere Explores Cultural Conflicts

Mira Mesa – Join writer/producer Maria Gee and meet members of the Chinese families featured in an enlightening new film that deals with the cultural conflict between traditional values and new American ones as Miramar College’s Evening with the Experts presents “Adrift Without Roots” on Friday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall I-101.

Viewers will experience the nostalgia, particularly evident during holidays, and be moved by the sense of identity loss – characterized by the metaphor adrift without roots, in the mainstream society of the host country. Immigrants from around the world will relate to the challenges, insights and issues faced by the local families showcased in the documentary film series.

The Gee family — Gin Gee, Owen Gee, Maria Gee (creator/producer)

Having lived in the same Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood for many years, Gee’s relationships with other immigrant neighbors formed the foundation of her two-year project. Through the experiences of four diverse families – from single parent and married couples, from young children to teenagers and adults, the twelve 30-minute holiday episodes provide an innovative view of cultural diversity.

“National holidays epitomize a country’s culture and each immigrant needs to find their place in their new set of circumstances,” says Gee. “Assimilating into that culture can be confusing. Consider children trying to figure out why they’re pinched on St. Patrick’s Day for not wearing green or why little heart cards and candies are exchanged on Valentine’s Day.”

In late January, more than 300 representatives from the Chinese and Asian Pacific Islander community, local government, media and educators attended an “invitation only” sneak preview of “Adrift Without Roots” at Miramar College, where it was received with great acclaim.

Maria Gee was born and raised in China, where she worked as a writer and editor for screenplays at Heilongjiang television station for 11 years before immigrating to the United States in 1992. Gee has published two books and numerous articles and is president and CEO of New Land Film Production, LLC.

The film documentary is currently produced in Chinese, with English subtitles only on the summary episode. Gee is seeking capital to subtitle the entire series for sales and distribution to cultural organizations, educational institutions and libraries throughout the United States.

“Adrift Without Roots” is presented by the Miramar College Diversity Committee and offered through the “Evening with the Experts” lecture and performance series. Presentations are free and are held in Lecture Hall I-101 at Miramar College. No reservations are necessary and no parking permits are required on Friday evenings.

Miramar College is located at 10440 Black Mountain Road, one block west of I-15 between Mira Mesa Blvd. and Carroll Canyon Road. For more information, call the college Public Information Office, 858-536-7876.

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