April 20, 1960: A boy observed a tired tiger in the Central Park Zoo. That summer, former Gov. Herbert H. Lehman of New York gave the city $500,000 to build an adjacent zoo for kids, full of “peaceful animals that children are fond of: rabbits, ducks, geese, doves, lambs, calves, pigs, baby deer, llamas, goats and perhaps even a talking crow.” Unlike the normal, “adult” zoo, stands would sell food for the animals so that the children could “hand-feed and pet the tame creatures.” Photo: Sam Falk/The New York Times
Sept. 28, 1937: A tiger cub embraced Roy Jennier of the National Zoological Park in Washington. The cub was one of about 300 specimens gathered by the National Geographic Society and carried to the United States via freighter for observation, study and entertainment. The one-year expedition was not without its hazards — twice, a seven-foot “dragon lizard from the island of Komodo” escaped its pen and required four crew members to recage him. Photo: The New York Times
An all-girl group rises against the backdrop of Burmese civil war and embarks on a self-actualizing journey in tandem with their nation.
How many films combine the giggly fun of an all-girl pop group with rare insights into a country in the throws of transition from military dictatorship to civilian government? In September 2010, oppositionist leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be barred from the general election and a military regime would almost certainly return to power. Against this bleak backdrop an unlikely all-girl group arises when Australian free spirit Miss Nikki May meets hard-headed Burmese entrepreneur Peter Thein. Initially packaged for pop stardom, The Tiger Girls, recently renamed the Me N Ma Girls, begin a long and rocky journey toward self-expression, and with every step the women take toward freedom and actualization—the lyrics of their pop confections often brandishing a surprising feminist edge—Myanmar’s political situation marches in tandem. The film, which we are thrilled to present to opening night of the 2013 Margaret Mead Film Festival, ultimately tells two interwoven stories of remarkable change and courage.