yamagata docu. film festival
davis at kobeuc.ac.jp
Tue Oct 21 23:25:18 EDT 1997
> Comments on Yamagata Documentary Film Fest from a first-time visitor:
> I think the the post-screening Q and A sections are the most
> interesting mainly because it really reflects certain parts of the film
> culture in Japan.
> For example,. the ba-chan (grandmother) that praised Xu Xiaoming's Homesick Eyes, the film about SE Asian guestworkers in Taiwan, as a common call for collective resistance against poverty among economically underprivileged sectors all around Asia. Her comment was so interesting because she did not use the concept of nation to contextualize imported cheap
> labor but class and economic status instead. This cuts across various nations in the region. It has therefore become a global situation
> within and outside national/regional boundaries. So much for the stereotypical Japanese fetishism of "uchi-soto" boundaries.
> Another impression I got was that the audience seems to have really
> sharp eyes and preconceptions about the politcs and aesthetics of
> documentary (except perhaps for Barbara Hammer's
personal fiction). In
> another words, by attending the festival, it is not so important to see
> the films but to witness the film culture in Japan. It is particularly
> exciting given the lame commercial film market there and the lack of
> institutional support for full-fledged film studies programs.
Hong Kong Baptist University
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