Xi'an Film Programmes

    • Date
      2015.10.10 - 2015.10.11
    • Guest
    • Moderator
      Li Shanshan, Wang Kaimei, Henning Rosenlund
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“Stories from the North”

– The First Beyond Frozen Point Film Screening

Stories from the North
This themed film screening introduces a rich array of stories from peoples living in the world’s northern-most tip. The films focus on the north as both geography and social environment, and as a culture to which the filmmakers are related. One of the coldest places on the earth with the land frozen all year round and 24-hour days in summer and long, dark nights in winter, the harsh environment of the North Pole is still home to a variety of wildlife and native peoples such as Eskimos and Samis. The nature of the polar region shapes the unique characters of these peoples, lending them a special humor and approach to solving problems in life. Meanwhile, in the face of climate change and the threat of global warming, due to the process of globalisation, the rich natural resources and conflicting claims to land from different nations, the North Polar region is a hot spot for international politics today.
In collaboration with the Tromsø International Film Festival, "Stories from the North", will present recent short and documentary films from Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The common root for these films is the breath-taking polar nature and the narratives are all about people living there.
Screening Sections:
Section 1: Film from the North
Here together are three documentaries about real people from the polar region; iconic figures and local heroes from the past and now. The films ask questions about life values and choices, identity and background, all of which are key issues in shaping people’s lives, here seen in a mix of strong personalities – an elderly fishermen, a former Olympic Champion and a young snowboarder
The Sámi are the indigenous people of Scandinavia, traditionally associated with a nomadic way of life and Reindeer herding. They live in coastal areas, making their livelihood by both land and sea. Today Sámi tradition and language live on in Finland, Norway and Sweden, but in a tough negotiation with modern life. In this programme, young filmmakers look back at a history of repression, and also at different Sámi identities today. Great musicians, among them the eminent Mari Boine, demonstrate how old and new can be fruitfully combined.
Section 2: Film from North China
Meanwhile on a similarly high latitude, we see the frozen land of northern China. The Ewenkis live in the northeastern forest and herd reindeers. Like the Sámis in the North Pole, they too face the problem of the preservation of their culture in the new era. The Inner Mongolian film director Gu Tao followed the Evenkis, China’s last hunting tribe, for years. His film, The Last Moose of Aoluguya, depicts the life of an Evenki poet, whose poems are an elegy for his disappearing culture.
Section 3: Special Screening
Finally, in a philosophical conclusion to the theme of Nordic identity, OCAT Xi'an is thrilled to show the winner of the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival in 2015, A pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting On Existence by Swedish director Roy Anderson. The slow-paced humanistic story builds around observing the absurdity of ordinary life through masterful image-making.
"Stories from the North" is curated by Li Shanshan, Wang Kaimei and Henning Rosenlund, with the support of the Embassies and Consulate of Sweden and Norway, the Finland Film Institute, the European Sami Cultural Committee and CoProduction Company, France.
Screening Schedule:
October 10
Films from the North — People (82min)
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Anderson
(101 min; winner of the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival in 2014)
October 11
14:00    Films from the North—Sami Voice (74min)
15:30    The Last Moose of Aoluguya (100min)
17:15    Meet the director Gu Tao and the curator Wang Kaimei


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