By Jessica Liu
The first full day of life as a student delegate consisted of very cinematically and contextually rich works including the stark Dooman River and numerous short films from the collection Life, Interrupted. One can recall a channeling of neo-realist greats such as Vittorio De Sica and Satyajit Ray in Lu Zhang’s latest work showing life on the border of North Korea and a Korean village in Northern China. With extreme long takes and wide angled shots, audiences got the chance to soak in every detail of the harsh realities of a life in which every action could have a life altering consequence. The limited dialogue and downplay of character emotions went hand in hand with the icy cold backdrops of the area surrounding the region. Dooman River, is a tale about personal struggles so intertwined with national struggles and questions of identity that it is truly neo-realism at its best.
Another equally enjoyable yet completely different experience was viewing the shorts films in Life, Interrupted. From a genre-bending tale of lychee obsessed neighbors in Hawaii, a suspenseful yet heartfelt look at a depiction of the eviction of Chinatown residents of 81 Bowery, to an eye-opening documentary about the extremely complex gender politics hi-lighted by hate crimes of Muslim fundamentalists towards women, we were provided with beautifully executed and genuine stories that needed to be told and heard.
Jessica is a participant in this year’s Verizon Student Delegate Program