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Return of The Free China Junk


Wed 2 Nov 2016, 5:30pm–7:10pm
Fri 4 Nov 2016, 7:00pm–8:40pm

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $10.25 ($10.00 + $0.25 fees)
  • Concession Admission: $8.20 ($8.00 + $0.20 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale

There will be a Q&A session with director/producer Robin Greenberg at both screenings.

The award-winning 2015 documentary Return of the Free China Junk follows the heart-warming story of a daughter’s efforts to honour her father’s memory. Dione Chen’s passion for saving the rare old junk boat "Free China" from imminent destruction in northern California becomes the catalyst for an inspiring international cross-generational mission.

The "Free China" junk (which carried Dione’s father Reno Chen and five mates from Taiwan to San Francisco in 1955) is the oldest known surviving Chinese wooden sailing vessel of its kind. The dream of the six junk-mates (including Paul Chow, Loo-Chi Hu/Huloo, Marco Chung, Benny Hsu and Calvin Mehlert) – then in their late twenties – to sail across the Pacific in 1955 with no prior sailing experience, is rivalled by the dream of the next generation to bring the fragile boat "home" nearly sixty years later. This later voyage is the subject of this film.

The incredible 1955 maritime adventure of the "Free China" junk, initiated by twenty-something Paul Chow in Formosa/Taiwan is celebrated in Robin Greenberg’s award-winning prequel film "The Free China Junk" (2010), also screening at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. Filmed in glorious colour Kodachrome by the sixth junk-mate Calvin Mehlert (former US Vice Consul, Taipei).

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