Pathways: Truth & Fiction Cultural Mash-up

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Today we're mashing up the New Realities and World Perspectives strands with films from China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines to give you a cross-cultural selection of films sthat challenge truth versus fiction

People's Park (21 & 22 June)
China/USA – New Realities
The best documentaries take a simple subject or place and make you feel like you're there. This single-take walk through the park in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province is a rich and exciting peephole into another place. It will take you on a colourful journey while exploring many aspects of the themes of performance and spectatorship.

The Way We Dance (22 & 23 June)
Hong Kong, World Perspectives
This infectious hip-hop dance movie follows aspiring dancer and university student Fleur who, upon joining a hip-hop dance club, breaks out her inner martial artist to make a unique impression. An infectious hip-hop dance film and fascinating look at hip hop culture at the other side of the globe.

The Obscured Histories and Silent Longings of Daguluan's Children (22 & 30 June)
Philippines, World Perspectives
Weaving staged scenes with documentary footage, myth and reality mingle in this exploration of an isolated village a remote fishing village in southern Philippines. It captures the predicament traditional a people forced to abandon their community and search for a precarious living. Shocking without the shock value, this exploration of life under poverty and impending war is a remarkable portrait of cultural isolation.

Yumen (21 & 23 June)
China/USA, New Realities
Roaming the ruins of Yumen – an abandoned oil town Gansu, northwest China – these intrepid filmmakers transcend documentary, incorporating elements of performance and narrative to this historical documentary. It's a brilliant excavation of China's past and present, evoking a lost paradise through lush colours and rich textures of 16mm. Not to be missed. 

Big Boy (24 & 30 June)
Philippines, World Perspectives
A daring film shot on Super 8, Big Boy is a personal narrative and critique of global ideologies. Set against the development of the Philippines under the neocolonial patronage of the USA, it combines staged and archival footage to explore myths of progress. An eye-opener.

Longing for the Rain (24 & 25 June)
Hong Kong, World Perspectives
A daring erotic Chinese ghost story, Longing for the Rain tells the story of a Beijing housewife who finds her comfortable existence threatened by the visits of a ghostly lover. Her addiction to this new relationship threatens her comfortable existence in this subtle, surprising and imaginitive film which delves into the erotic and spiritual lives of women in contemporary China.

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Nicola is a freelance film journalist & EIFF Web Editor.

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