Films/Discussions featured in One World Series

By Barb Lang

University of Wisconsin-Barron County and the Rice Lake Public Library will present “One World Art, Literature, and Film Festival” this April and May.

The events, which will be open to the public and free-of-charge, will feature art, literature, and films that explore the plight of immigrant groups who have relocated to the US, including the Hmong and members of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” orphans forced to flee their homes in South Sudan during the Sudanese civil war in the 1980 and 90s. 

Area teachers who would like to encourage middle and high school students to attend the event can request films and curriculum ideas from Project Director Lee Friederich (  Sponsored by a major grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the events in this series are as follows:

“Lost Boys of Sudan”:

  • Monday, April 21 at 7 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library:  A film showing of the award-winning film God Grew Tired of Us, a 2006 documentary the explores the plight of three “Lost Boys of Sudan,” displaced during the second civil war in Sudan during the 1980s. Produced by Brad Pitt and Narrated by Nicole Kidman, the film is the recipient of a Grand Jury Prize as well as an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.  A discussion following this film will be led by UW-BC art and sociology professors Ginnie Baer and Jayant Anand.
  • Monday, April 28-May 3, “A Lost Boy of Sudan:  Bol Aweng,” an art exhibit in the UW-Barron County Joel Salter Gallery, will be curated by Art Professor Ginnie Baer.
  • Monday, April 28 at the University of Wisconsin-Barron County at 6-7:15 pm:  “Two Lost Boys of Sudan”: A gallery talk by artist Bol Aweng, whose works will be on display from April 28-May 3 in the Joel Salter Gallery, followed by a conversation by Aweng and Sudanese writer and humanitarian John Bul Dau. Dau is President of the John Dau Foundation, which provides health care to the war-torn region of Southern Sudan.

The Hmong of the Midwest

  • Wednesday, May 7, a film showing of the documentary Being Hmong Means Being Free at 7:00 p.m. in the Rice Lake Public Library.  Exploring the immigration of the Hmong between 1975 and the 1990s, Being Hmong Means Being Free considers the culture of the Hmong through the eyes of a Green Bay teenager, Lia Vang.
  • A reading and discussion by Twin Cities author Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, will serve as a keynote event for the Northwest Wisconsin Writer’s Festival at 4:30 pm on May 10 at UW-Barron County.  Coming to UW-Barron County for the third time, Yang’s work depicts the journey of her parents’ generation from Laos to the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand, where Yang was born, to Minneapolis, where she now lives.


Lee Friederich