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A scene from Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China Photo: Courtesy of Paula Madison Paula Madison (Right) Photo: Courtesy of Paula Madison
Seated to the back of the Instituto Cervantes auditorium Wholesale New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys , the soft glow of the screen barely highlighting her face, Yang Tongyu, who hails from Hubei Province but currently resides in Beijing, discreetly brushes away the tear that rolls silently down her face. Behind her, another Chinese woman gets up Wholesale Pelicans Jerseys , grabs a stool and positions herself almost directly under the speaker. Hardly anyone notices. All eyes are riveted on the action in front.

"I was moved," said Yang. "I did not know this kind of family love existed outside of China, to find a family member you have never met. She never gave up; that moves me."

The women are each responding to the documentary film Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China, a visceral film about Jamaican Chinese Paula Williams Madison's journey with her two brothers Elrick and Howard Williams to find the missing link in their family history - their maternal grandfather, a Chinese man who Madison's mother had not seen since the age of 3.

A film that would make Odysseus proud Cheap New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys , Finding Samuel Lowe chronicles Madison's epic journey across two continents and an island to find her ancestral home in Guangdong Province.

It speaks to the universal struggle for home and belonging as well as issues of race, heritage and survival in a place and space that defines you as "other." The film is episodic in structure. Each movement centers around a key "quest." The first movement takes her to the Hakka Chinese Conference in Toronto in 2012, where she learns about the Hakka people of Guangdong: a migratory group who traveled from North China to South China and eventually every corner of the globe. The second sees her head to Jamaica to find missing details about her mother's childhood and clues about her grandfather, while the third and final movement takes Madison to China to find her ancestral family the Luo.

When Madison finds and is accepted by her Chinese family, it's the audience who shares her joy.

"My whole life I felt incomplete - until now Cheap Pelicans Jerseys ," says Madison in the film. The documentary ends with Madison and 19 other Jamaican Chinese family members from both the Caribbean, US and Canada mixing and mingling with more than 300 members of the Luo family as they celebrate their centuries-old lineage.

Cultural bridge

According to the China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG), which has collaborated with Caribbean countries to stage the Inaugural Caribbean Film Festival from Friday to Saturday, the main goal of the festival is to introduce local Chinese to the rich culture and history of the Caribbean.

"For most Chinese people, Caribbean countries are a sort of mystery. We know Pirates of the Caribbean. We know they are a paradise for tourism Wholesale E’Twaun Moore Jersey , but we don't know much about their culture," said Hua Jingwen, the CAEG project manager in charge of the film festival.

"The film festival can give Chinese audiences an opportunity to literally visit those countries through those films; they don't need to travel."

The chair of the Caribbean caucus in China, Trinidad and Tobago Ambassador Chandradath Singh said the film festival "starts the conversation" about the Caribbean and its people at the level of the everyday man on the street. He said up until now the Caribbean was largely only known by "officials who served in the Caribbean, high-level Chinese companies and State corporations like China Harbor and China Railway Wholesale Solomon Hill Jersey , who are doing projects in the Caribbean."

"I think the cultural exchange here is going to be able to establish the presence of the Caribbean more in the minds of Chinese people," he said. "I feel Chinese who are exposed to this will pass it on to their villages and their parents when they go home during the holidays."

Drawing on the image of a germinating seed, the ambassador said it is now up to the Caribbean countries cooperating with China to continue to broaden and strengthen the presence and partnership that Chinese President Xi Jinping envisioned when he called for 2016 to be a year of cultural exchange between China, the Caribbean and Latin America.

"[The films] tell about the lives and times of people of the Caribbean," he said. "This was President Xi's dream. My embassy intends to follow up on it Wholesale Jordan Crawford Jersey , and I am sure that my colleagues from the Caribbean will also be geared toward following up year after year with similar programs."

Surprising history

"For me, a foreigner coming to China to look for her roots is very strange, but I admire her persistence," said Wang Li from Henan Province.

So strange was the story unfolding before her eyes, that Wang confessed that she initially thought it was fiction. "I am surprised because I've never heard this kind of history before Wholesale Alonzo Gee Jersey ," she said.

Wang's initial response is not unusual in China, where the common concept of who is Chinese has very a specific definition. This is clear even in the language used to describe people of Chinese origin not born in China.

For example, Yan Xu, the translator who worked on the Chinese subtitles for a number of the films at the festival, said that although the protagonists in the films Finding Samuel Lowe and Chinee Girls refer to themselves simply as "Chinese Wholesale Kendrick Perkins Jersey ," a more specific identifier is used in the subtitles.

"In China they are not considered Chinese," she said. "They are called huayi (Chinese descendant)."

Madison said she is aware of the terminology but for her and her family it changes nothing.

"I don't think it matters. In our family [the Luo family] we say that we are Hakka," said Madison, who has since received the Chinese name Luo Xiaona from her uncle Luo Wu, in a phone interview.

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