“The Only Language She Knows” @ LES Festival of the Arts

FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM: Saturday, May 25, 2024, 1 – 11pm. Hosted by Theater for the New City, 155 First Av, New York, NY 10003

LES Lower East Side Festival of the Arts is an annual celebration of the rich artistic culture and ethnic diversity of this area. For three days over Memorial Day Weekend, TNC produces a cabaret-style festival featuring over 100 performing groups from the Lower East Side. This year, the festival is mounted with the theme “Democracy: Use it or Lose it.”

The 2024 Film Program is a 12-hour long film festival of art-house, experimental and independent films, showcasing a diverse selection of films from comedy, documentaries, drama and sci-fi. Join any time between 1pm and 11pm for an unforgettable event filled with captivating storytelling and visual masterpieces.

1.51pm THE ONLY LANGUAGE SHE KNOWS (1992) – short film directed by Carla Blank, produced by Ishmael Reed – 21 min. Starring: Genny Lim, M.J. Lee and Al Young. Filmed by Allen Willis, with music composed by Francis Wong.

A traditional Chinese American mother and her avant-garde daughter have a kitchen fight.

Web Gallery
The Only Language She Knows (1992)

The first LES Festival of the Arts, presented June 14 to 16, 1996, was a three-day, indoor and outdoor multi-arts festival, organized by TNC and a coalition of civic, cultural and business leaders. The aim was to demonstrate the creative explosion of the Lower East Side and the area’s importance to culture and tourism for New York City. It employed two theater spaces at TNC plus the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues, featured over 100 attractions, drew favorable press and attracted crowds from all around the City. Its success prompted TNC to continue the festival annually on Memorial Day Weekend. For 28 years it has been presented free each year to an average attendance of 4,000. (In 2020 it was held online due to pandemic concerns).

Ishmael Reed is the winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (genius award), the renowned L.A. Times Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer and finalist for two National Book Awards and is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley; and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, which promotes multicultural American writing. He also founded PEN Oakland which issues the Josephine Miles Literary Awards. PEN Oakland has been called “The Blue Collar PEN” by The New York Times. Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty titles including the acclaimed novel “Mumbo Jumbo,” as well as essays, plays and poetry. Titles include: “The Freelance Pallbearers;” “The Terrible Threes;” “The Last Days Of Louisiana Red;” “Yellow Back Radio Broke Down;” “Reckless Eyeballing;” “Flight To Canada;” “Japanese By Spring,” and “Juice!.”

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