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Tough

5 minutes

An immigrant mother and her daughter finally explore the things they had left unsaid

Born in the UK to a Chinese mother whose parents were targeted by the state during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Jennifer Zheng grew up uncertain about her own cultural identity. In her BAFTA-nominated short animation Tough, Zhang brings her childhood questions to her mother in a first conversation between the two as adults, trying to find clues to her own identity in her mother’s story. Learning that from age 11 her mother thought her own parents were bad and so she didn’t listen to them, Zheng turns to wondering whether she disappointed her parents by adopting the culture around her in the UK and not learning Chinese. Evocatively animated and deftly scored, the film is both personal and universal in its appeal, speaking to the unique contours of Zheng’s relationship with her mother and the wider theme of the drift of generations, particularly among immigrant families.

Director: Jennifer Zheng

Composer: K Preston Merkley

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Essay/History

Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Video/Law & Justice

What is Mother’s Day to a child whose mother is in prison?

8 minutes

Idea/Race

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Essay/War & Conflict

Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman

Idea/Cities

This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

Nancy Kwak

Video/Cities

In the shadows of high-rises, Shanghai’s small neighbourhoods struggle to survive

13 minutes