Community and Collaborative Filmmaking: Directors and Subjects—Chang, Johnson, Lockhart, Simms

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 2:30 p.m.

Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1

Includes the following films:

  • Podwórka

    2009. USA. Directed by Sharon Lockhart. A ubiquitous architectural element of the city, Lodz, Poland's courtyards act as playgrounds for the children that live in the surrounding apartment buildings. These spaces provide a sanctuary from the traffic and the commotion of the city, but unlike the over-determined playgrounds of America, the courtyards are still very much urban environments. In six different courtyards throughout Lodz, parking lots, storage units, and metal armatures become jungle gyms, sandboxes, and soccer fields. A series of fleeting city-life interludes, Podwórka is both a study of a specific place and an evocation of the resourcefulness of childhood. U.S. premiere. 31 min.

  • Minor

    2010. USA. Directed by Patty Chang. Shot in Western China's Xinjiang province, where recent clashes between the Uighur minority and the Han Chinese have created tensions, Minor examines indeterminate and ephemeral ways in which culture and landscape are linked. The video was originally inspired by Sven Hedin’s The Wandering Lake (1930), a first-person account of Hedin’s unsuccessful Chinese government–funded expedition to “revive the old Silk Road and turn it into a motor highway” and to map the "wandering" Lop-nor lake. World premiere. In Chinese; English subtitles. 25 min.

  • In the Air

    2009. USA. Directed by Liza Johnson. In Southeastern Ohio, April works in a junkyard. Daphany waits on customers in a fast-food window. Lee spends the day waiting for school to be over. But the Cirque D'Art circus school offers a departure from daily tedium and apathetic adults. Combining elements of fiction and documentary, In the Air is a portrait of a place that has endured an economic crisis for decades. The film features real people acting out scenes from everyday life and examines what people are capable of in a de-industrialized world. New York Premiere. 22 min.

  • The Readymaids: I Want the Kind of Store That Has Pricetags

    2009. Indonesia/USA. Directed by Jeannie Simms. Margareta, a woman who returned from Taiwan after being abused by her employer, acts out her fantasy of owning her own store—“the kind with pricetags, not the kind where you bargain.” Her customers include a group of girls and a young Muslim woman looking for a Kebaya to wear at a party. World premiere. In Indonesian; English subtitles. 6 min.

  • The Readymaids: Tri Suyati Speaks Mandarin

    2008. Indonesia/USA. Directed by Jeannie Simms. The Readymaids videos were produced collaboratively with women inside a maid training agency in Java, Indonesia, that places successful trainees with families in Taiwan. A maid who has been waiting a year for job placement recites some of the things she has learned to say in Mandarin, a helpful skill for those hoping to work in Taiwan. Tri Suyati speaks about the labor she’ll provide abroad as well the relationship she’ll have with her “boss. World Premiere. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 3 min.

Filmmakers present films made in collaboration with their subjects using various techniques of participation, performance, and observation. Followed by a discussion with Patty Chang, Liza Johnson and participants in In the Air; Sharon Lockhart, Jeannie Simms. Organized and moderated by Sally Berger.

In the Film exhibition Documentary Fortnight, 2010: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film

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