Film: “Moving” Christchurch, NZ

02/09/2011 § Leave a comment

In his film, Kiyong asks, “Migrants have often left much behind – emotionally, physically and financially – to start new lives and exist without the support networks of extended family and old friends. How do they cope with the trauma, loss and ongoing physical upheaval and sense of dislocation wrought by a natural disaster so severe that even established, lifelong residents have fled elsewhere?”

The film, by Kiyong Park featured in NZ’s 43rd International Film Festival, following not long after the earthquake in Christchurch on the 22nd of February 2011.

Read the full article and interview here.


The Trip Series: Sunsets

19/02/2011 § Leave a comment

When I went back to my home town i was in awe of all the sunsets I saw. I kept trying to explain to people that OURS are ‘Really beautiful -others are faster, so fast that its unsatisfying to watch, theyre different.

It was as I walked to my new zealand home and to this sunset, i sat down and felt that if i kept Those sunsets in my heart, others were actually quite beautiful too.

18 days after I come back and I am beginning to understand ‘quality of life’. All I knew before is that it is because I have the privilege of choice that i am willing to make sacrifice of my living standards but I never quite grasped the term. It wasn’t during my time in Russia, that I understood its meaning, but from the slow appreciation of how relaxed and un-bothered I can be here.

I guess Im terrified of falling in love with another country (one seems hard enough), of adultery… or is it of commitment… How many years do widowers wait? What about those who morn their whole life, are they defining what is natural? – to move on, to be transient creatures of pleasure? to be willing to compromise their definition of what what is right… I am just trying to stay true to who my roots, to who I want to be.

that sunset

That night I watched the one DVD i bought in Russia “Aganistan/Chechnya” – war films *blush*. In one film Russian pilots are taken captive for years and years, a journalist is allowed to interview them: “вы скучаете по России?”/”Do you miss Russia?” she asks one, after a long pause of what seems indifference he off-handedly states “… мы и есть россия.”/”….we are Russia”
Another film turns out to be a Chechnya doco (Rus DVDs usually contain as much as they possibly can, in low quality). It describes how  captives were immediatley given local names, I couldn’t help but to think that a similar effect is reached with different -incorrect pronunciation of names by locals.
One 18 year old captive that had become part of the community and was forced to stay part of it decade after decade, after coming home to Russia had went back to that community to marry a local girl. Then having returned again, said that “Родина чувствуется с чужбины.”/”Homeland is felt from afar.”

YI ZHOU – a great new reson to wait for the Int. Film Festival

18/01/2011 § Leave a comment

“Yi Zhou is a young Chinese artist, whose work has been described as a bridge between East and West. Her latest work The Greatness, a 3D video, which features hip hop artist Pharell Williams, and a music score by Enio Morricone is a contender at this month’s Sundance festival. She tells Harriett why dreams are her main source of inspiration.” -BBC The Strand 17th Jan 2011 listen here

Yi Zhou’s website

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