You're a teacher in 1960s Taiwan, where students recite mandatory praise of Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese dictator who imprisoned your dissident father. How painful is that?
Further complicating your life is your mother's disapproval of your wish to marry your cousin.
"In general Asian cultures emphasize family values," said Ann Pang-White, philosophy chair at the University of Scranton, who organized a screening on Monday of the Taiwanese film "The Moon Also Rises."
"Parents had tremendous authority over children in their choice of whom to marry, whom to date, even in the 1960s," she said. "The women's movement came to Taiwan in the 1980s, a little later than in the United States."
Pang-White doesn't want to give away the plot but said audiences can expect an "explosive" development in the mother/daughter relationship.
"The cinematography is beautiful," she added, and the dialogue (with English subtitles) is in Mandarin Chinese as well as Japanese and two Taiwanese dialects, Min and Hakka.
All those languages point to the cultural diversity of Taiwan, said Pang-White, who arranged the Taiwanese Film and Cultural Festival because "bridging cultural differences is one of my personal passions."
The chance to sample other cultures through film doesn't stop there.
After the Taiwanese festival, which includes "The Song of Cha-Tian Mountain" as well as talks by an author and director, the University of Scranton will offer an East German film festival in November and continue a Spanish Film Club Series into spring.
Misericordia University, meanwhile, has its own Hispanic Film Series, and in conjunction with Wilkes University is planning a three-day Cultural Lens Film Festival in late October.
Transportation will be arranged between Wilkes in Wilkes-Barre and Misericordia in Dallas Township so students can attend any screenings, Misericordia multicultural student outreach coordinator Maria Cabrera said. The public is welcome to attend the films as well.
In keeping with the theme of "Music without Borders," the festival topics range from jazz to a Hawaiian singing competition to the story of opera star Barbara Smith Conrad, whose lead role as a black Dido opposite a white Aeneas created a controversy in 1957 Texas.
All of the multicultural films are free to the public. Here are some you might want to put on your calendar this semester:
• "The Moon Also Rises" depicts tensions in a mother/daughter relationship and in a sexual relationship. Taiwanese author Ang Li, on whose work the movie is based, will lead a discussion after the screening. 5:30 p.m. Monday in the DeNaples Center, University of Scranton.
• "The Song of Cha-Tian Mountain," depicts Taiwan's struggles as a colony of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, DeNaples Center, University of Scranton. Director Yu-shan Huang will take part in a discussion afterward.
• "Entre Nos," a 2009 drama, co-directed by and starring Paola Mendoza, is a tribute inspired by her mother and other hard-working immigrants who seek a better life for their children. 6 p.m. Tuesday, Bevevino Library, Misericordia.
• "Return to Gorée," Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour visits the isle of Gorée, tracing the way jazz became "the miraculous product of the horror of slavery." 6 p.m. Oct. 25 in Lemmond Theater, Misericordia. Preceded at 5 by lecture with Phil Simon and Godlove Fonjweng of Wilkes University.
•"One Voice," a documentary on the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest, in which 2000 high-school students sing Hawaiian music in four-part harmony, 5 p.m. Oct. 26, McGowan Hall, Misericordia.
• "When I Rise," true story of opera singer Barbara Smith Conrad, who found herself at the center of a racial controversy. 7 p.m. Oct. 26, Stark Learning Center, Wilkes.
• "Ken Burns' Jazz: Our Language, Episode 3," how jazz reflected the atmosphere of the country just before the Depression. Noon Oct. 27 in Marts Center, Wilkes.
• "Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam," based on the work of Muslim convert Michael Muhammad Knight, who wrote about Islamic punk rockers. 3:30 p.m. Oct. 27, McGowan Hall, Misericordia.
• "Sons of Benkos," the evolution of Afro-Colombian music. 6 p.m. Oct. 27, Marts Center, W
ilkes.• "All My Girls," or "Alle meine Mädchen," a lively portrayal of female factory workers in the former East Germany. 7 p.m. Nov. 6, Brennan Hall, University of Scranton.
• "The Dove on the Roof," or "Die Taube auf dem Dach," at one time banned by the East German government because it showed workers in distress. 7 p.m. Nov. 7, Brennan Hall, University of Scranton.
• "If the Earth Were Not Round," or "Wäre die Erde nicht rund," directed by Iris Gunser, as are the above German films. An East German woman and Syrian man fall in love in Moscow and realize that while Hatem is committed to helping his country, Christiane cannot work as a scientist there. 7 p.m. Nov. 8, Brennan Hall, University of Scranton.
• "Reel Injun," a documentary from Canada about the depiction of native people in film from the silent era to today. 6 p.m. Nov. 14, McGowan Hall, Misericordia.
• "Post Mortem," an apolitical man who writes autopsy reports in Chile is shaken when his neighbors are arrested. Part of Spanish Film Club series at University of Scranton. 7 p.m. Nov. 15, Brennan Hall.