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A Thousand Years of Good Prayer (U.S., 2007) 

Adapted from a Yiyun Li short story, this Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club) film is a modest affair that explores issues of assimilation as Mr. Shi (Henry O), a widower from Beijing, travels to the States to stay with his recently divorced daughter (Yu Feihong). While Mr. Shi maintains he'll never meet another woman after his wife's death, he eventually strikes up a friendship with an Iranian woman (Vida Ghahremani) he meets at the park one day. Nothing comes of it, as the woman is sent to an old folks’ home before the relationship can go anywhere. But the fact that they could communicate, even though neither spoke particularly good English, suggests how immigrants in Wang’s world have a connection that goes beyond language. That Mr. Shi finds it more difficult to communicate with his withdrawn Chinese-fluent daughter is the film’s great irony. Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall. At 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9 and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11. HH 1/2

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