Optimism

Deborah Stratman

2018 | 00:14:43 | Canada / United States | English | B&W and Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Super 8 film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Documentary, Environment, History, Landscape, Sculpture

The urge to relieve a winter valley of permanent shadow and find fortune in alluvial gravel are part of a long history of desire and extraction in the far Canadian north. Cancan dancers, curlers, ore smelters, former city officials and a curious cliff-side mirrored disc congregate to form a town portrait. Shot on location in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.

"With this puzzle of sound and Super 8 images, Deborah Stratman playfully blends the attraction of gold and a climatic phenomenon: in this town nestled at the bottom of a valley, sun beams are as rare as gold nuggets. How can the star be drawn down if not by capturing and diffracting its rays?"

— Charlotte Garson, Cinéma du réel, 2018

Pricing Information

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Premiere

Berlinale
Berlin
2018

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