In stillness and in turbulence, the world will always respond to the language of art! At least, this seems to be the belief of Xinlei Sha, Parijat Jha, Kat Roberts, Nia Whitmal, Ami Tamakloe, and Nadav Wall, students in Dr. Natasha Raheja’s Advanced Documentary Class, supported by media assistant Randy Hendrickson. These students choose the camera as a medium for capturing and telling compellingly complex stories about what it means to exist in our world. Why the camera? Why documentary? Why tell these stories at all? Perhaps to get answers to these questions, you might want to show up on May 9th at 4:30pm at the Cornell Cinema to watch the screenings of the powerfully diverse narratives these artists and scholars have put together.
Through weekly development and editing workshops, rough cut screenings, industry professionals visits, guest filmmaker criticisms, and a commitment to the process over two semesters, these filmmakers have worked to hone filmmaking skills, developing a range of cinematic styles including observational, character-driven, and archival approaches.
The films do a magnificent job of capturing the labyrinth of underlying themes such as belonging, intimacies, memory, home, and more. Themes we experience as inhabitants of this world. For instance, Whitmal’s Ticker and Wall’s Breaking Even evoke the dissonant effects of urbanism, development, and occupation in two major cities in the world; New York and Tel Aviv. Tamakloei’s Ghost Coast Girls, Sha’s Chosen, and Jha’s In My Craft showcase films on gender and femininity within distinct contexts of anticolonial struggle, Robert’s Second Life and Jha’s In My Craft explore concepts of creating, consumption, and the afterlife. These films, multicultural in nature, cut across borders (spanning all the way from Israel, Ghana to Ithaca) and time (stories from the mid 1900s to now).
Indeed this collection of narratives which will reflect back parts of our human existence to us, is a gift we could all relish in. Even better, it is free and open to all. Come with your curiosities and questions, contradictions and queries, we look forward to engaging with you on May 9th 2022 @ the Cornell Cinema.