In Oana Suteu Khintirian‘s excellent documentary, Beyond Paper, she looks at why the written word is important, and what’s the method of preserving it. Without pen and paper, all the world is not a stage to chronicle the best of times, and even the worst of times shaped not only literature but also the passing of culture from one generation to another. While that sounds like a very loaded introduction, not every bit of knowledge can be passed down orally. And when it’s a document, will it be easily accessible?
Here, she is not only looking at how to preserve her own Romanian and Armenian heritage, but also humanity’s collective history. It’s not as easy as digitising it to the cloud, a digital version of what some may call the collective consciousness. Some nuances will get lost. For example, calligraphy is a craft few can master, and those studying Chinese style will know there’s a lot to consider when allowing those splashes of ink outside the line to exist! Sometimes examining how that stroke was made is significant.
When considering creating comics involves lettering, even this branched aspect of the literary to sequential art deserves equal preservation as well.
We offer our top animated picks that’ll be playing this weekend at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival!
The 2023 Vancouver Asian Film Festival is taking place this weekend, and out of everything being offered this year, it’s their Animated Shorts Program that has my interest. That’s because the National Film Board of Canada is presenting two special shorts. Also, the anime Gonta: The Story of The Two-Named Dog in The Fukushima Disaster is playing at this event!
I’m tempted to head over to see the film and make a weekend out of being in the big city. While I’m still deciding, I should also mention two other works in the shorts’ presentation, including Bride’s Dream and Galactic Canine Space Force!
Thankfully, ahead of their BC premiere screening, I got to preview TheNFB’s works, and have a quick review. Disclaimer: beware of spoilers.
First up is the feature-length documentary WaaPaKe: Tomorrow, directed by Vancouver-based filmmaker Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin. This work is important because of what was discovered years ago, bodies of children in unmarked graves by a normal school. The public outcry was huge, and to find answers, viewers will have to watch this.
From the Press Release:
For generations, the suffering of residential school Survivors has radiated outward, affecting Indigenous families and communities. Children, parents, and grandparents have contended with the unspoken trauma, manifested in the lingering effects of colonialism: addiction, emotional abuse, and broken relationships. In her efforts to help the children of Survivors, including herself and her family, Koostachin makes the hard decision to step in front of the camera and take part in the circle of truth. She is joined in this courageous act of solidarity by members of her immediate household, as well as an array of voices from Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. Moving beyond burying intergenerational trauma, WaaPaKe is an invitation to unravel the tangled threads of silence and unite in collective freedom and power.
Special to this year is an installation art piece of Meneath. It’ll be part of the VIFF Signals program and is based on Métis creator Terril Calder’s Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics, a winner of the New Voices Award at New York’s Tribeca Festival. For our review of this work, please visit this link.
A diverse range of works the National Film Board of Canada have helped produced will be in competition and exhibition at Annecy, France starting later this week!
The National Film Board of Canada (The NFB) is returning to the prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival with a very diverse slate of films, including works by or about festival mainstays Janice Nadeau, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, Theodore Ushev and Diane Obomsawin. Taking place this year from June 11 to 17, the Annecy festival is the world’s largest event dedicated to animated films.
A luminous look at loss and bereavement, seen through the eyes of a child with an overflowing imagination. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Hervé Bouchard, illustrated by Montreal filmmaker Janice Nadeau (La Pastèque).
Weiye Su is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker with a goal, and that’s to dispel the myths concerning the underground tunnels that exist underneath the city of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. What’s offered is a falsehood. After his family relocated here many years ago, what he wanted to discover about the past concerning fellow Chinese as this country was being built is important. He knew very early on their stories aren’t as well known, and he’s given one family a chance to be heard in A Passage Beyond Fortune.
Ultimately, this mini-documentary is about the legacies that those Asians crafted with their own hands. Although the United States is considered a land of opportunities more so than Canada, both have an important place in history. As most scholars know, in those early settlement years and even throughout the Depression, not everyone treated foreigners kindly. This filmmaker’s goal is to explore the proper cultural contexts and reverence, than to present stigmatized notions on what life was like back then. He also recommends reading Brian S. Osborne’s essay, Moose Jaw’s Tunnel Vision: Mystery, History, and the Construction of ‘Canada’s Most Notorious City.’