Birth, aging, illness, and death are major challenges faced in life, especially when we are not prepared. During our pain and sorrow as we see others go through these experiences, or we do so ourselves, we must still face reality, as we continuously yearn for and remember those loved ones who have already gone. FAMILY, Hard Good Life 2, and Trekking in Wind and Rain are three moving films that deal with life and death, the most basic issues we face.
There are nine films in this section that explore the body, our senses, and the soul through different physical and mental conditions, portraying how misfortune and unfavorable living conditions affect people’s lives. The following nine stimulating films are featured in this section: Seeing Freezing Life—The Most Intimate Computer Family, Leprous Life, Transparent Time, Lady Camellia, Bilal, The Long Walk, Today the Hawk Takes One Chick, Voices from El Sayed, and People Say I’m Crazy.
Directors in Focus
Directors in Focus introduces two films by the highly regarded team of American ethnographic filmmakers Timothy and Patsy Asch and anthropologist Linda Conner. The two classics, A Balinese Trance Séance and Releasing the Spirits: A Village Cremation in Bali, are part of the filmmakers’ series on the beliefs and rituals of Bali.
TIEFF 2009’s Directors in Focus section also introduces Bilin Yabu, a member of Taiwan’s Atayal Tribe, and his two films that delve into Atayal culture and aboriginal identity, power, and conflict: The Stories of Rainbow and Through Thousands Years. These two films were produced 10 years apart. From them, we can examine how the director pierces the surface, digging deep into the varied intertwining relationships between cultural exchange, communication, and conflict the Atayal people face.
Rowing the Cinat; Men’s Ocean, Women’s Calla Lily Field; Desert Brides; In My Father’s Country; and Menstruation have been placed in the Local Viewpoints category. These five films use different topics as jumping off points, but have a common purpose of getting closer to the viewpoints, thoughts, and concerns of the people involved. By getting so close to their subjects, we are privy to the interactions between the group and the outside world, and between members of different classes and genders within the group. From this perspective, we can get a unique viewpoint on how people in each culture themselves view the issues.
Sing It!, The Captive, and Patrasche, a Dog of Flanders, Made in Japan show us the many intricacies of life. The joys and sorrows we experience crystallize into the power to ignite a multitude of wonders and expand our horizons.
Small Steps on a Long Road, The Sixth Resettlement, The Lost Buddha, Suddenly Sami, In Search of the Hamat’sa: A Tale of Headhunting and Jerusalem(s)portray stories common to almost every society: Those separated from their culture search endlessly and walk down innumerable roads before they can once again return home, literally or figuratively. Only after such a journey, can their origins begin to become clearer.
This section includes Between, Fate of the Lhapa, Living with the Invisibles, and The SHADOW, four films bursting with vibrant culture that explore how the shamans from different cultures shuttle between the realms of good and evil to prevent disasters and remove adversity. These films are rare treats that should not be missed.