5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown

Shelly Silver

2009 | 00:09:54 | United States | None | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Asian-American, Blu-ray, Environment

You live somewhere, walk down the same street 50, 100, 10,000 times, each time taking in fragments, but never fully registering THE PLACE. Years, decades go by and you continue, unseeing, possibly unseen. A building comes down, and before the next one is up you ask yourself "what used to be there?"  You are only vaguely aware of the district's shifting patterns and the sense that, since the 19th Century, wave after wave of inhabitants have moved through and transformed these alleyways, tenements, stoops and shops.

10 square blocks, past, present, future, time, light, movement, immigration, exclusion, gentrification, racism, history, China, America, 3 languages, 13 voices, 152 years, 17,820 frames, 9 minutes, 54 seconds, 9 questions, 5 lessons, Chinatown.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

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Prizes + Awards

Prix de la Ville Clermont Ferrand, Videoformes, France 2011

Best Experimental Video, Dallas Video Fest 2010

Dialogpreis, European Media Arts Festival, March 2010

Premiere

Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin
2010

Exhibitions + Festivals

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 2011

Women Make Waves Film Festival, 2011

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, France, 2010

 

Clermont-Ferrand (France), 2010

 

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung