In the city of Boston, US, weekends start from Thursday nights. We experienced that first hand on March 1 at the premiere of our film In the Name of Confucius.
The 165-seating screening room #1 at the Kendall Square Cinema in the city core was packed with audiences from all walks of life. Some were even standing at the back of screening room watching the 52-minute film because all seats had been taken.
After the screening, film director Doris Liu took questions from the audience members. The Q&A lasted for about an hour and most audiences stayed for the end. You could watch the live recording of the Q&A at our YouTube channel.
The screening was organized by the Tibet Action Institute (TAI) as part of their campaign to shut down the Confucius Institute in the University of Massachusetts Boston. Earlier this year, the TAI had sent an open letter to the UMass Boston president and other administrators involving the CIs, urging them to not to renew the CI agreement with China’s Hanban ending this April.
Director of the TAI Lhadon Tethong, a Canadian born Tibetan living in Boston, presented a Khata to film director Doris Liu, thanking her for making such an inspiring and powerful film. Her organization collected nearly 200 petition signatures for their campaign that night.
Members of the audience were highly motivated after watching the film, saying that they would tell others about the Confucius Institutes and the risks the institutes pose to our society. Some even said that they would write to their local school officials about the issue and request them to shut down an existing CI or not to open one in future. There are currently nine smaller Confucius Classrooms that are associated with the UMass Boston CI.
Earlier this year. Senator Marco Rubio personally wrote to five Florida schools urging them to close their Confucius Institute and the University of West Florida confirmed that they would not renew the CI agreement expiring this May. FBI has been watching warily the development of the Confucius Institutes in America and are investigating some.