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Festival Reports

Rotterdam

Aditya Monday February 7, 2011

The following films were nominated for the 2011 NETPAC Award by IFFR held from 26 January to 6 February 2011:   Black Blood by Zhang Miaoyan (China/France)  My Father's House (Jia Yuan) by Zhao Dayong (China/Hong Kong)  Love Addiction (Fuyu no kimono) by Nobuteru Uchida (Japan) Hot as Hell: The Deadbeat March (Seishun hakaba) by Okuda Yosuke (Japan)  Hospitalité (Kantai) by Koji Fukada (Japan)  Kommander Kulas: The One and Only Concert of the Amazing Kommander Kulas and His Poor Carabao in the Long and Unwinding Road of Kamias by Khav (Philippines) Presa by Adolfo B Alix Jr (Philippines)  Paradise City (Anyang) by Park Chan-Kyong (South Korea) Characters by Son Kwangju (South Korea) Flying Fish (Igillena maluwo) by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka)  The Day I Disappeared by Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi, (Iran)   The jury, comprising Ratna Sarumpaet (Chairperson, Indonesia), Zhang Xian-min (China) and Katayoon Shahabi (Iran), gave the award to two films since the two had the same level cinematography achievement.    Black Blood by Zhang Miaoyan (China/France). The jury noted that it was “a simple film at the same time powerful,  complete in detail, and it brings you to the  world in which people live by them selves.”  

and 

The Day I Disappeared by Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi (Iran/Netherlands). It was, declared the jury, “a visual and sonic poetry which recalls us the best cinema could offer,  contemplative and shining.  

Black Blood Not everything is progress in China. Less and less rain means that the inhabitants of Inner Mongolia have to do everything to survive, even sell their own blood. And in order to sell enough blood, you have to drink. A drama of fate shot in impressively expressive black-and-white.

In a remote mountain village in the northwest of China, close to a nuclear test zone, poverty-stricken Xiaolin sells his blood to pay his daughter’s school fees. Together with his wife Xiaojuan, he tries to set up a business. At first that seems very lucrative, but then fate strikes: it turns out that both Xiaolin and Xiaojuan are infected with HIV. Just like thousands of other poor people, who illegally sell their blood to be able to buy something as essential as water. Black Blood, tells a small and personal story against the background of an ecological disaster. In the valley where the film was shot, there is no water anymore. “Water is more valuable than blood and many villages have already been deserted,” according to Zhang Miaoyan. Zhang films the poor odd-jobbers for more than two hours in hypnotic black-and-white and - very briefly - in equally stunning colours.     The Day I Disappeared   The Day I Disappeared is a very personal film essay about immigration, seen through the eyes of a refugee, based on the personal story of the filmmaker, who fled from Iran and travelled through what was a completely new and unknown world for her: Europe. It is also an effort to shed light on an internal process of alienation, an individualisation of the term 'refugee' or 'asylum-seeker'. The unconventional narrative uses the patterns of Persian poetry, with visual metaphors and rhymes and rhythms between the scenes. A lot of the material is found 16mm and 8mm footage that mirrors the director's memories of her own trip through Europe more than twenty years ago. The images of the main character’s dance also reflect on the alienation of the individual. The combination of all these creative approaches evokes a special world between reality and fairytale.

 

by Ratna Sarumpaet

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