The Asian Panorama—Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan

The longest of these three videos, Hanung Bramantio's Indonesian short Tinkling Glass, is an effective and sometimes moving lesson in accepting differences and overcoming self-centeredness. A boy's family, ashamed that he's apparently retarded, has locked him in a shack; he makes music by striking glass vessels, sometimes lit by small shafts of sunlight, the imagery imparting a magical quality to his existence. A little girl persuades other kids to help him escape into the sunlight and elude the nasty woman hired to care for him, but the tragic ending blurs any distinction between good kids and bad adults. In Ananda Abeynayake's Devils of the Magosa Tree a boy who's lost his father and brother to a terrorist bomb in Sri Lanka seeks solace in traditional music and dance; Ricky Lee Tze-leung's My Childhood: Passage of Times is a bland documentary on changes in Taiwanese education (children are now encouraged to “explore their own interests”). 91 min.

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