one of the results of attending the office of ethnic affairs ethnica conference ten days ago was going to watch "my wedding & other secrets" on friday night. the reason i was so inspired was because i listened to roseanne liang talk about her film on the friday before that, as well as her showing clips of her film.
she's an amazing young woman, and i already thought so having watched the documentary which the film is based on. it's called "banana in a nutshell", and i saw it a couple of years ago. even if you see the film (and if you haven't seen it, i strongly recommend you do), the documentary is worth watching as well.
i guess it resonates with me because i have that experience of growing up in nz, caught between two cultures but not really belonging to either one. i lived in some kind of strange in-between space, being misunderstood and doing a lot of misunderstanding. the people i got on best with (and that continues until now) were those who also occupied that in-between space. this could be other child migrants, or it could be people who married into another culture, or even those who converted to another religion.
i can't say that i had the boyfriend issues that are the heart of this film, but i know what it's like to be struggling to keep everyone happy and mostly failing, for various reasons. one was that i couldn't really get a grasp of what each particular group wanted, i didn't understand the nuances of either culture so would end up putting my foot in it more often than not. but more than that, in trying to keep others happy, i couldn't be true to myself. i couldn't be who i wanted or needed to be, and that is more soul-destroying than anything else.
these days, i've gone beyond keeping anyone happy, and pretty much expect people to take me as i am or to just p*ss off and leave me alone. those are the only two options, as far as i'm concerned, i'm done with compromising who i am and what i believe just to keep the peace. well, most of the time. there are days when keeping quiet is the easiest option & i don't have energy to take on yet another battle, but i guess that's true for all of us.
i really watching emily battle her way through her issues. and my goodness, i could so totally understand her fears and her courage. the film was beautifully done and so... authentic, true to life, absolutely real and realistic.
i'm loving that we're getting access to stories like this one and "boy", from local film-makers. i love the diversity, the look into cultures that are all part of nz now. i want our government dollars to be going towards stories like these. that $33 million which warner bros absolutely did not need could make such a huge difference to emerging film-makers. peter jackson has already made it (with a whole heap of government support along the way), he didn't need more.
i'm really looking forward to seeing more from these and other nz film makers. i'm really sorry to have missed "currymunchers" because it was only on for a very short while, but am really heartened by the quality and quantity of films being made.