A new short film about the history of Lewiston’s Chinese Beuk Aie Temple will be featured Thursday, Feb. 19 at Chinese New Year at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History.The 13-minute film by Lewiston filmmaker Patricia Keith is a history of the artifacts in the exhibit and the Chinese immigrants that came to the region in the late 1800s. To help tell the story, Keith focused on one member of Lewiston’s Chinese community, Ted Loy, who worked in the home of the wealthy Vollmer family and was a Lewiston restaurant owner before his death in 1981 at the age of 101.
“I really wanted to set a context for the exhibit,” Keith says. “These are not just a bunch of items, a bunch of things. These are items that engaged people.”
The film includes recent interpretations of the temple artifacts by independent researchers Chuimei Ho and her husband, Bennet Bronson. Ho helps to narrate the film, which was funded by grants from the Idaho Humanities Council. The two were among researchers who came to Lewiston for the Chinese Remembering Symposium, held from 2008-12, which increased awareness of Chinese contributions to the area’s history, Keith says.
Keith is now interviewing people for a film telling the story of Chinese Americans who settled and grew businesses in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley in the 20th century.
if you go
WHAT: Chinese New Year at the Center
WHEN: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19
WHERE: Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, 415 Main St., Lewiston
OF NOTE: The event includes tea and refreshments, a talk by Priscilla Wegars on “Chinese Customs and Traditions,” viewing of the short film “Beuk Aie Temple: At the Confluence of Three Cultures,” and traditional pipa played by Jiahong Li.