Wednesday, December 08, 2010

AIFF 2010: Samsui Women, My Perestroika, Along the Wild Coast

The Singaporean movie was a short, utilitarian, documentation of women who came to work in Singapore from mainland China about 70 years ago.  Two women, one in her 90s and one 100, sitting in their wheel chairs, talked about their lives as manual laborers building buildings in Singapore.  Nothing fancy here, just grabbing some history while it's still available.  Nice little film.

Full House at Out North for Hig and Erin's Journey Along the
My Perestroika was a fascinating film that featured several 30 something Russians talking about their childhood and the fall of the Soviet Union.  Old photos and movies from their childhoods were interwoven.  A film like this has to make any thinking American pause a moment.  They talked about their childhoods nostalgically.  The had good, carefree lives then.  And the US they saw on television and movies - riots, murders - made them thankful they lived in the Soviet Union.  Just like Americans learn to be thankful they weren't born anywhere else either.  They included a pool table representative, two teachers, a musician, and the owner of a French shirt company for men.  

Film maker Greg Chaney, Hig, Katmai, and Erin+
Then we switched into the art gallery which was also set up like a theater for Hig and Erin's story Journey Along the Wild Coast.  The video quality was pretty bad at first, then seemed to get better as they went along walking, skiing, and paddling from Seattle to the Aleutians.  Film maker Greg Chaney got 100 hours of video to edit.

The movie is pretty straightforward as they take pictures and shoot movies of themselves going from I-5 into Canada and then into Alaska, crossing icy bays, going through a few towns, and finally lots of bear encounters near the end.  The story itself is so compelling - it took them over a year - that it makes up for the video quality.  I also liked their diary description explanation to things as they happened, with no narrator pompously summarizing everything.  

I misread the program.  It turned out that the shorts program played in the main auditorium at the same time as Journey Along the Wild Coast.  Then a friend dropped J home and I went on the the Canadian reception and the Canadian shorts.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.