專訪《蜜莉蘇坦多：想像的旅程》導演蜜莉蘇坦多・邦格拉 翻譯、整理／台灣國際女性影展 請你分享拍攝動機。 關於這部片的誕生，我想分享兩個小故事。第一個是發生在2014年，我和朋友吃早餐時的對話。我一直都是自然捲，2012、2013年IG開始流行，我有點焦慮於要不把我的自然髮弄得比較符合IG上的主流審美，像是直髮、長指甲等。我跟朋友提起這件事，沒想到他非常生氣。他開始提到我的種族認同，甚至講到種族隔離、種族壓迫等等，我們為此大吵一架。我不理解打扮跟種族有什麼關係？後來我回家查詢頭髮和種族認同，我開始一頭栽了進去。過程中了解到許多關於殖民主義、奴隸制度與種族隔離的歷史，而黑人的外貌與之大有關係，黑人的身形外貌被賦予多重意義，讓我們看似低其他種族一等。 再次想起這個故事是在前總統曼德拉過世時，我和朋友一同前往他的葬禮，當時我們唱了幾首反種族隔離的抗爭歌曲，藉此向他致敬。記得有首歌叫做〈我媽是煮飯阿姨，我爸是園丁〉，我當時回想：我確實在種族隔離下長大，但我成長的環境好像不太一樣。童年生活其實過得不錯，我的童年沒有白人。我不了解、甚至不知道種族隔離政策。這開啟了一段探索旅程，試圖認識自己的個人歷史，釐清為何不曾特別覺察自己是黑人。 這是一段長達十年的自我探索，同時也是在建構自己的身分認同，透過我的國家：川斯凱與南非。我發覺國內不少人，乃至世上的許多人並不認識川斯凱，這也導向要如何「愛自己」的課題上。因為我成長的環境，一方面的確是被隔絕、蒙蔽的狀態；另一方面，我不夠愛身為黑人的自己，這是我必須面對的課題。 本片運用大量的檔案影像，您如何選擇這些素材？ 我不希望片中的種族隔離畫面是我們曾經看過的畫面。種族隔離是一件很暴力的事情，但我更好奇它是如何變成暴力？如果歷史最終導向的是暴力，那第一步驟是什麼？我更好奇的是創造及維繫種族隔離背後的心理狀態。至於檔案影像的挑選，我希望能找到彩色、更居家、更多女性的畫面，我好奇權力在公領域及私領域中是如何運作，又各自呈現什麼樣態。我也希望能包括更多種族隔離期間有白人出現的畫面。 部分的檔案影像來自網路，另外我們也接收了來自一位曾經在種族隔離時期擔任攝影師的素材，那些素材都從未面世。這些畫面讓事情更加複雜，因為你的既有想像可能是壓迫者總是拿著槍，但事實上未必如此。他們可能就是在過生活而已。我想要呈現另一種面向，也就是靜謐的權力暴力。我也希望能更多女性的畫面，因為我們總是看見警察，或是男性們拿著槍面對彼此，這是一種很陽剛式的種族隔離詮釋。那當時女性在哪裡？在做什麼？ 本片出現許多儀式片段，為何會有這些設定？ 如果沒有那些來自南非的，儀式文化和知識體系的加持，我們一定做不到這一切。首先是拍電影的勇氣，我覺得很像祖先賦予我的使命，我的家族裡很多是作家、音樂人，對藝術特別感興趣的人。很顯然黑人有很長一段時間，都不能拍電影。我感覺祖先們在說：「去做吧！我們會幫你的」、「這樣一來，你將召喚我們」、「改變被打壓、無法拍電影的處境」， 所以我有堅實的後盾。我一直都被支持著，但也在思考他們想透過這個媒介傳達什麼。 在我的故鄉，儀式是很常見的，就是生活的一部分。我想帶觀眾認識到，儀式攸關我們如何理解存在的意義。攸關我們與時間、空間互動的方式，基督教、原民知識系統，還有非裔宇宙觀，全部混雜在片中，反映他們在我生命中的影響。此外，我也希望探究如何從精神層面理解種族議題。以我個人而言，進行的方式其實就是將攝影機轉向自己，並邀請觀眾參與此過程，同時揭露這一切是如何被內化的複雜度。 我們在拍攝過程也會進行一些儀式，比方說我們在看檔案影像的過程中，會看到一些非常難以直視的畫面，那我們後續就會進行淨化的儀式。觀看那些畫面，足以讓你非常難受，你很有可能把那些憤怒帶進剪接的過程，繼而傳遞到觀影者身上。因此，我們必須非常謹慎避免類似的事情發生。我們的方法就是透過淨化的儀式，我們也有原住民族巫師陪伴拍攝的過程。再次強調，這些其實多少都呈現了我們日常的生活樣貌。 能否談談片中出現你跟白人友人、製作人的片段？ 那段有點像反思，試圖釐清要如何向觀眾傳達我心中的疑問，以及我們面對友誼關係的複雜性。當我們各自背負著這些歷史，友誼能否存續？這攸關彼此之間的權力動態、互動關係，一方面我們可以是朋友，我們的確相處融洽，但我心底明白，我與身俱有的權力與白人絕對不同。我們要如何跟這樣的事實共處？我們能達到和解嗎？在籌資階段，我就知道這是無可避免的課題，不能避而不談我們的權力關係。他是白人製片，我是黑人導演，這在南非很常見，我認為這樣的搭配有待質疑，也應該被提出來討論。我們要更加誠實地面對我們的角色。 我們清楚這樣的關係會影響電影製作方式，這是無法避開的問題。電影能拍成歸功於好因素的存在，但也知道這有另一層面向。這便是最大的挑戰。我認為整部片是以一種會激到人們的方式，去呈現我所在意及感興趣的問題，並促使對方跟這個主題產生連結。 每當我和製片的影像被放上銀幕，我們知道發生了一些事，而這讓我感到不自在。內心會想抗拒，不打算聆聽，我們試圖讓人們傾聽那些讓他們可能感到不適、生氣或產生共鳴的東西。拿掉影像、只保留聲音的決定，是為了帶領觀眾，進入一個如同告解室般的空間，我以某種方式暴露自己的脆弱，我朋友同時也在揭露自己。 再者，我們要如何把這個問題拋回觀眾，藉此讓他們知道這並非一場被動進行的試驗。我們不是只有在談論我跟我朋友的關係而已，這並非只關乎這一小群人。同樣的事情在世界各地都會發生。 當然黑畫面也是在回應電影本身，電影未曾透過非裔黑人的角度，處理種族議題，更不用說黑人女性的角度。他們是這層面的受害者。有很長的時間黑人不得參與電影製作，至少在南非是這樣。因此把光明拿掉也是在反思，電影手法如何呈現這些東西。 種族問題無法靠黑人獨自解決，當然也無法由白人獨自解決，我們必須要釐清如何推進。現在我仍然認為，我們距離問題解決的目標還很遙遠，我們只是先從電影技術層面，試著處理許多人能有共鳴的主題。 拍完這部片後，你對於自己的認同有帶來什麼改變？ 這部電影徹底改變了我，很榮幸得以深入探究此命題，並藉此邀請世界了解以往總是由局外人、外來者拍攝或記錄的故事。幾乎很少會有故事是在反思自己。在我完成剪輯，提交終版之前，我坐在影廳內，觀看整部電影。我記得當時哭得很厲害，心想這是第一次覺得：「我，像我這樣的女孩，能以一種完整和複雜的狀態呈現在電影中。」 這部片徹底改變了我的自我認同，我跟我自己的關係，我開始更真誠地愛自己，不再向外尋求關愛。 有什麼話想對台灣觀眾說嗎？ 我想跟台灣的觀眾分享，事實上除了以色列，台灣是少數在1970年代承認川斯凱的國家。你們可以研究一下為什麼會這樣，非常有趣。 我也希望這部片能帶觀眾思考目前所面臨的事情，關於國族認同，關於民族自決，關於國界，和邊界的意義、關於被承認和不被承認。上述問題如何連結到身為人的當今意義。在電影中找尋自己，尋找能有共感的人事物。 Interview with Milisuthando BONGELA, director of Milisuthando What is the motivation of making this film? There's two stories that I like to reflect on when telling the story of how the film began. The first one was in 2014 when I went out to breakfast with my friend and I'd had natural hair for a long time. And Instagram was new. It was about 2013, 2012 and people were getting on Instagram and I felt a lot of pressure to change my look from my natural hair to a more Instagram kind of look with straight hair and long nails. I remember telling my friend this and he got so upset with me. He was like, why would you do that? He started mentioning my racial identity. We had a big argument about this because I was like, what has race got to do with any of the way I want to look? And he started mentioning apartheid and oppression and all these things. I went home to research black identity and hair. And I just dived into a rabbit hole where I really learned about the history of colonialism, slavery, and apartheid and how the way that black people look is exactly the reason why our physical attributes have been imbued with these different meanings that makes us seem as if we're inferior compared to other races. And so that was the one side of it. But the story came back to me again in 2013, 2014, when Nelson Mandela died and we had to go to his funeral with my friends. We were singing different anti-apartheid struggle songs to honor him. There was one song called “My Mother Was a Kitchen Girl, My Father Was a Garden Boy.” I remember going, yes, I grew up in apartheid. Yes, I'm black. Yes, that black people were oppressed. But I came from another kind of place where there was a bit of a nice childhood and I didn't have white people in my childhood. I didn't really understand apartheid or know it. So it became an exploration of trying to understand what my personal history was and why I had not realized that I'm black for such a long time. It's been a 10-year project of self-exploration, but it's also been a project of understanding my identity through my country: Transkei and South Africa. I feel like many people in our country or in the world did not know about Transkei. It also became a project about how do I love myself? Because I've been raised in a world, on one hand, quite sheltered and ignorant, and on the other, very much not loving myself as a black person. I had to face that. The film utilizes a lot of archival footage, how do you choose the images? I didn't want in this film representations of apartheid as we've seen it before. Apartheid was violent. But I was more interested in how does it become violent? If the last step is violence, what is the first step? I was interested in the mentality that creates racism and maintains it. Concerning the archival footage, first of all, I wanted it in color and more domestic. More images of women, more images at homes, and different gestures of power and how they function in public life as well as private life. I also wanted to turn the gaze on white people and whiteness during apartheid. We found all these incredible images online. We were also given some footage by someone who used to be a cameraman during apartheid and he had loads of footage of apartheid that's never been seen before. It became more complex because you imagine that people who are oppressors are going to be always holding guns, but they're not. They're living their lives. I wanted images that represented an alternative perspective on the quiet violence of power. And I wanted to make it more feminine. I feel like the perspectives of the men facing each other with guns and the police and all those things, it's a very masculine understanding of apartheid. But what were the women doing? In different chapters, many sequences touch upon the idea of ritual, either it is related to indigenous knowledge system or personal ritual. Can you elaborate on the role of rituals in this film journey? We wouldn't have done any of this without the backing and the support and the knowledge systems that I come from in Southern Africa. Bantu philosophy, I would have never been able to achieve any of this. First of all, just the confidence to make a film. It felt to me like my ancestors had sent me on a mission, because they themselves were artists. I come from people who are writers and musicians and people who are interested in the form of art. Obviously, because black people weren't allowed to make films for a very long time. And I feel like they said, go and do this and we will help you. And in so doing, you will resurrect us and change the ways in which we were suppressed and couldn't make films. So that was just the personal backing that I had. I always knew that I had the support, but also what do they want to say through this medium. Rituals are normal where I come from. It's part of my life. I wanted to invite the audience to know that this is how we understand existence. This is how we interact with nature, time and space. There are Christianity, indigenous knowledge systems, and African cosmologies that came together in the film because they come together in my life. Also, I wanted to reflect on how one understand racism from a spiritual perspective. In my own life, this is how I was working it out. What I did was turn the camera on myself and invite the audiences into that process, to unveil complexify of how these things live inside of them as well. We also did rituals when, for instance, we found some of the archive that was very, very difficult to look at. We cleanse ourselves after that. Because a lot of the times you can watch this archive and it can make you very upset. And you can then take that anger and put it in the cut. And what you do is that you're transferring that energy onto whoever's watching. And so we had to be very careful about how not to do that. And this we did through cleansings and rituals. And I had healers. I had indigenous healers here who were helping me throughout the process. Again, it's a matter of just sharing with the audiences that this is how we live. Marion, who is your producer of this film, also appeared on screen. Can you elaborate on the choice of including this section? Also why the black screen, with only audio available for the audience to navigate? It's a reflection on how we put on screen the questions that I have in my mind about the complexities of these relationships. The questions are: can we be friends with these histories that we hold? Can we be friends if the power dynamics between us are, on one hand, we're friends, we get along. But deep down, power in my body is different from power in a white body. How do we reconcile that? I knew we couldn't avoid this question. When we were still at the fundraising stage, we can't avoid our dynamic. She's the white producer and I'm the black director, which is something that always happens in Southern Africa. It's a pairing that I feel needs to be questioned and needs to open up the discussion. We need to be a little bit more honest about who gets to be what. We knew we couldn't avoid how our relationship affects the way we make film. We know that there's good elements that have allowed us to make film, but we also knew that there's an underside to that. This was the biggest challenge. The whole film was to reflect something that I'm holding and questions that I'm interested in, in a way that provokes people, in a way that engages people where they are with the subject. Whenever we put my images and her images on screen, we knew something happened, something made me uncomfortable. Something in me is just going to be defensive and I'm not going to listen. So we were trying to figure out how we're going to get people listen with something that is either make them uncomfortable, angry, or make them connect with these people. The decision to take away the picture was to invite the audience into the space that functioned as a confessional where I was busy exposing myself and my own vulnerability around this. And my friend too was exposing herself. Also, how much do we throw it back to the audience so that they know that this is not a passive exercise? We're not just talking about me and Marianne, Bettina or Jess. This is not a thing relevant to these particular people. This happens everywhere in the world. The black is also about a comment on cinema and how cinema has not really dealt with race from the perspective of black Africans and black women who are victims of it and who haven't been allowed to really participate in filmmaking for a very long time, at least in Southern Africa. Taking away the light is also commenting on how you cinematically represent these things. Racism is not going to be solved by black people sitting alone. It's also not going to be solved by white people sitting alone. We have to figure out how to have conversations. And right now, I feel like we're still far from resolving these things. So we were just trying to figure out cinematic techniques to deal with a subject that many people can relate to. Have you changed how you perceive your self-identity or relationship with your personal history as well as the collective history after making this film? This film has absolutely changed me. It has been the most incredible privilege to make it because I got to truly deep dive and in so doing, create a form of inviting the world to understand what exists in a part of the world that's usually filmed or told by outsiders or foreigners. We hardly have stories where people are really reflecting themselves. When I finished the last cut, I was sitting by myself in a cinema watching the whole film. And I remember crying so much, thinking this is the first time that I feel like a girl like me has been represented in her fullness and her complexity in a film. This film has absolutely changed my relationship to my identity and myself. I have come to love myself a lot more genuinely, not relying on outside love. Do you have any words for the Taiwanese audiences? What I'd love to share with the Taiwanese audience is that actually Taiwan was one of the few countries that recognized Transkei next to Israel in the 70s. I think you should do some research to learn how it happened to be like that. That was very interesting. Also, I would love for audiences there to think about it in relation to the things that they are facing right now. Regarding national identity, regarding self-determination, regarding the boundaries and borders, regarding being recognized and not being recognized. How these questions live next to the questions of what it means to be a human being today? Also to find themselves and find characters that they can relate to in the film.
專訪《桑拿私話》導演安娜・欣茨 翻譯、整理／台灣國際女性影展 *此訪談問題由影展方提供，實際訪談由《桑拿私話》製片Marianne Ostrat透過Zoom Meeting訪談導演Anna Hints的方式進行 能簡介愛沙尼亞南部的桑拿傳統嗎？ 煙燻桑拿的歷史相當久遠，可以回溯至西元前。在愛沙尼亞的東南部，桑拿房是相當神聖的空間。不光是東南部，離島也有。不過，桑拿傳統在東南部，有被完整保存。 在桑拿房裡，不光是赤裸身體，靈魂也是赤裸的。在這裡，你洗淨身體，也淨化靈魂，桑拿有轉化和療癒的能量。就像我奶奶說的，在那裡，一部分的你將逝去，一部分則重獲新生。在那裡，你能重新定義自己，並找回屬於自己的力量。 你的拍攝動機是什麼？為何特別選在煙燻桑拿房拍攝？ 這跟我的文化背景有關。我對桑拿傳統文化的認識源自奶奶，當我探尋這部電影的根，我回想起11歲那年，爺爺剛過世，大體還留在屋內。奶奶、阿姨、姪女和我一起去桑拿房。這就是我們的習俗，在重要時刻，我們會先去淨化。 在桑拿裡，奶奶告訴我們爺爺曾外遇，跟別的女人生活了一段時間。她向我們訴說那時有多煎熬，當時是蘇聯時期，她還得養四個孩子。她向我們抒發了很多感受，那些痛苦、憤怒和沮喪在過程中逐漸釋懷。做一輪桑拿是好幾小時，我們一起見證了這個過程。一走出桑拿房，我感覺奶奶放下了。隔天奶奶和我們平靜地將爺爺下葬。這件事震懾到我，我才理解到桑拿房能作為一個令人安心、讓人自在分享所有的感受和經驗的所在。當我們不帶批判或羞恥地 讓這些經驗有發聲的機會，就會有很深沉的療癒效果。自我認可的同時，我們也在洗刷所有羞恥、痛苦和憤怒。對我來說，這就是本片的核心。 我希望藉這部片將桑拿的能量傳遞至漆黑影廳，讓共處漆黑影廳的觀眾，也能感受到希望、備受鼓舞。這也關乎於去發現或試圖打造一個能令人安心展現脆弱面的所在。 能否跟我們談談拍攝過程？如何在高溫高濕的環境下拍攝？ 非常挑戰。你若跟人說，我想在一個又黑又濕又熱的地方拍片，對方一定會知道這一個超級艱鉅的挑戰！以平均溫度來說，桑拿房的溫度大約落在攝氏80度，有時更高、更少，大致是80度，所以我們要做足準備。作為導演，你要找到對的人共事，能不輕易向挑戰說「不」、願意說「好，那我們來尋找解答」的夥伴。就像我的製片瑪莉安娜、攝影師安特塔米克、收音師丹尼爾，你可以想像在裡面舉收音桿有多難。 首先，我得確保不會有人昏倒，攝影機周遭都擺放了冰袋，攝影師和錄音師頭上包上濕布，會一直滴水。我也要確保他們定時補充水分，攝影師會戴上手套，因為攝影機很燙。桑拿房加熱需要六小時，甚至更久的時間。我們的器材也必須跟著環境的變化不斷調整。我們有兩顆鏡頭，一顆用來拍攝外景，另一顆專拍桑拿房。在桑拿房裡，我們會先把鏡頭放在地上，桑拿房經過兩小時加熱後，我們再把攝影機移到更高的位置。又過兩小時，再往上移，讓機器適應高溫環境。我們知道過程可能會損毀鏡頭，所以特別挑性價比高的鏡頭用，我們共犧牲了兩顆鏡頭，整個拍攝則是耗時七年。 不能在冷桑拿拍攝嗎？ 喔不！絕對不行！為了完整呈現桑拿的魔力，並展現這空間的獨特本質，我們需要「熱」的煙燻桑拿。空間也必須是黑暗的，這是讓魔力運作的必要條件之一。一切從身體出汗開始，將髒污排至體外，先從表層再到深沉，排出身體與心靈深處的髒污。熱氣是很重要的。過程確實很難，但找到拍的方法很重要。 我認為去談論我們如何拍攝是一件很重要的事，因為這也關乎「裸露」。在桑拿裡，裸露是必要，褪去衣服，不只是外在的裸露，也同時褪去你我身上的面具，然後再進到這個擁抱你、滋養你、使你感到溫暖的桑拿宇宙。問題來了，你該如何呈現裸露？如何以鏡頭呈現赤裸？這對我來說是一個很大的挑戰，呈現赤裸，但不能有物化女體的感覺、不能是性化的赤裸，也不能是透過男性凝視，或認定女性只能是特定的模樣。 我們花很多心力在裸露的呈現手法上。我們跟攝影師先試拍我們自己的身體，拍我的身體，找到關鍵所在，也試拍其他女性，了解她們的感受。後來的樣子很像看見人們，看見不同的身體，就像看到不同的風景。我對於最後的樣子感到很滿意，有女性看了之後寫信給我，事實上有很多男性寫信來，分享說原來有其他觀看女體的方式。 對我而言，其中一個連結到影像選擇或電影語言很關鍵的訊息之一，就是讓你經驗另一種被接納的方式。 當初是如何找到主要拍攝對象？或說怎麼接觸到桑拿主理人凱蒂？ 對，我們稱她為桑拿主理人，她是在我們拍攝的第二、三年加入的，是我認識很久的朋友。 先說我有一點滿堅持，我認為不該說服任何人參與拍攝，過程都是很直接、很透明地說明清楚，無論是我所期望的親密，還是袒露的狀態。只有那些真正願意加入的人，才會成為這部片的一份子。第二件事是，要拍攝這樣的親密感，彼此間要有深度的互信。我們的協議是，他們在後製前無須簽授權書，等他們都看過剪輯內容，並同意了才簽。這讓製作方承受極大風險，但我認為非這樣不可，因此我們更需要深度信任彼此。不這麼做的話，他們很可能需要非常小心翼翼於能說什麼、不能說什麼，但事實上沒人可以奪走他們發聲的權利，而這樣的女性情誼在拍完後仍延續著。 我們沒有彩排過，也沒事先確認要講的內容。我們就是一起去桑拿，任由一切自然發生。隨著汗水流淌，事情就這樣發展了。 凱蒂作為朋友，我們會聊近況。當時她母親過世，聽說這計劃後，很感興趣。她希望能藉由桑拿的療癒旅程，也透過這部電影，來面對她生命中不斷重蹈覆徹的模式，她希望這樣的模式不要延續到她女兒身上。於是她就來參與我們的拍攝，在每一場桑拿當中她都有參與。 談論本片內容很重要，但我認為談論整個過程也是很重要的。作為一名導演，我的理念不僅根植於電影題材、內容之上，也根植於電影的攝製方式。如何拍出大膽而保有脆弱、又有力量的電影之餘，如何同時保持透明、公開且不濫用權力。真正地納入每個人，建立超越性別的姐妹情誼。 說的沒錯。下一個問題是，作為一位電子民謠樂團EETER歌手兼本片部分作曲，請談談您的音樂專業對本片的影響？ 對我而言，拍電影和做音樂是有連結的。尤其在剪輯階段，一切如何整合在一起，我很常使用音樂的詞彙來表達。音樂對我來說很重要，也是一件很自然的事。這跟煙燻桑拿、我們的文化傳統、家庭都有關，我奶奶傳承了很多民謠給我。 談論本片要旨，你可以說跟出生於女性身體的整體經驗大有關係。我們是否有機會表達，又如何訴說我們所有的情感和經驗？因此，女性聲音的存在就很重要，樂團自然而然地融入其中，因為樂團是由三位女性組成，即便我自己的認同是非二元性別，但可以說三位生理女性。 另一部分的音樂則來自冰島作曲家愛德華埃格里森。我們第一次開會便是在桑拿房裡，光著身子進行的。他從冰島飛來愛沙尼亞，從談話中我們彼此馬上有所連結，我們跟自然的關係都非常深，也談到自然的神聖性。我們的共識是，所有的聲音都要取自空間本身，因此來自大自然、來自木材、金屬、水，讓空間中的聲音一齊「現聲」。 您最想透過本片傳達的訊息為何？ 鼓勵大家直視自己的內心，不要害怕黑暗的角落、不要害怕自己的任何過去。勇於發聲，表達你所有的經驗和情感，並成為第一個發展姐妹情誼的人。 在這種友善的姐妹情誼中，我們不是競爭對手，而是平等的。我們可以透過不帶評判或羞恥的方式，互相給予力量。我相信在這個世界上，這種彼此存在、相互連結，互相展現出脆弱面的互動是可能的。這種姐妹情誼是超越性別的，關乎人與人連結的必要性，而我們都渴望這種連結。這並不簡單，連結意味著會經歷不舒服和展現脆弱。 對我來說，本片標誌了某種接受自我的激進方式。對，無論經歷過什麼疾病、創傷、任何事情，都從接受自己開始，然後接受其他人。另外，特此一提，女影今年三十歲了！要做點什麼呢？ 我想我們應該唱首歌，獻給所有觀眾和影展的所有籌備人員。這是愛沙尼亞的一個古老傳統，有人先起頭，然後大家跟著唱。［導演開始唱歌〕 我們的傳統是很相信話語的力量。當你訴說，你也在創造。我們可以一起透過這首歌，和所有正在觀影的觀眾建立情誼。基本上，這也是一首獻給影展的歌曲，感謝女影為女性賦權做了非常多努力，這也正是桑拿正在做的事，所以女影讓我感到非常溫暖。謝謝你們，我真切地希望，漆黑影廳中的你們，也能感受到桑拿房般的魔力與能量。當你走出影廳，有什麼改變了，你將有勇氣展露自己的脆弱，勇於發聲，勇於重新定義自己，擁有你的身體，你的聲音，在電影院外也是如此。 Interview with Anna Hints, director of Smoke Sauna Sisterhood *This interview was made possible through pre-recorded zoom meeting between Anna Hints and Marianne Ostrat, with questions sent by WMWFF. Special thanks to the generosity and kind sharing of Anna Hints and Marianne Ostrat. Please briefly introduce the Smoke Sauna tradition in South Estonia. Smoke Sauna tradition is very old. It dates back to pre-Christian times. It is a sacred space for us in Southeast Estonia. But not only Southeast Estonia, it is also on islands. But in Southeast Estonia, the traditions are still preserved. You go there naked, not just body-wise naked, but also soul-wise naked. And it's a place where you can wash off dirt from your body, but also from your soul. It's connected with transformational and healing powers. Like my granny said, you go there and some part of you dies and some part of you is reborn. Going there, you can redefine yourself and regain your power. What was your motivation behind making this film? Why making this smoke sauna as the site of filming? I come from this culture. The heritage was passed on to me through my granny. I've thought about where the roots of the film are, they go back to one specific time when I was 11. My grandfather had just died and his body was in the house. And we went to a smoke sauna with granny, aunt, and niece. This is what you do exactly, go to purify yourself before important events. There my granny revealed that my grandfather had betrayed her and lived with another woman for a while. She confessed how difficult it was. It was Soviet time and she had four children to raise. She released all the emotions connected to that. She released the pain, anger, and frustration. We were there witnessing it. One smoke saunas session last for several hours. When we once went out, I felt that granny had made peace with my grandfather, so that next day we could bury grandfather in peace. This really stuck me. I came to understand smoke sauna as a safe space where all your emotions and experiences can be shared and heard. When we give voice to these experiences without judgment, without shame, then there is huge healing power. We are validating ourselves. We are washing off the shame and pain and anger. I wanted to transform the power of Smoke Sauna into an experience in the dark cinema hall and to give hope and encouragement for everyone who watches it. Find and create these safe spaces to be vulnerable. Can you elaborate on the filming process? In face of the humidity, the high temperature of the environment, how do you shoot? It was very challenging. I mean, when you talk to someone and say that you want to shoot in dark, humid, and very hot space, it is like a huge challenge! Speaking of the temperature, the average temperature was 80 degrees Celsius, sometimes higher, sometimes a bit less, but generally 80 degrees. We had to be really prepared. As a director, you must choose the right people around you who are not saying no to the challenges, but yes, let's find solutions for that. Like the producer Marianne, and cinematographer Ants Tammik And also Tanel, who was holding the boom. You can imagine it's not easy to hold the boom in smoke sauna. First, I had to make sure that nobody passes out. We had ice bags around the camera. Cinematographer and sound operator had wet cloth on their heads, dripping all the time. We must also make sure water is being drunk regularly. The cinematographer had gloves to prevent get burn because camera gets hot. Heating up the smoke sauna takes around six hours, sometimes more. We had to adjust the equipment to the environment. We had two lenses. One for outdoor shooting, the other for indoor. In smoke sauna, in order to let the equipment get adjusted to the temperature, we first put it on the floor. After two hours of heating up the sauna, we put it at higher position. And then after two hours, we adjust it to even higher position. We knew that probably we would lose some lenses, so we used very good but not too expensive ones. We lost two in the whole process. And the filming took seven years. Couldn't it have been shot then in cold sauna? Oh, no, definitely not. In order to have the smoke sauna magic to happen and bring out the essence of this very special place, you need hot smoke sauna. And darkness must be there because all is part of this magic. You start to sweat out the dirt from your body. From the surface level and then get deeper and deeper, dirt comes out physically, but also emotionally. It’s very challenging, but it’s also important to find the ways to shoot like this. I think it is also very important to talk about how we shot. In smoked sauna, this nakedness is very important. When you enter there naked, you put away not just physical clothes, but also masks that we carry. You enter this cosmic universe that holds you, nourishes you and keeps you warm. But another question is: how to shoot that nakedness? That was a challenge for me. Especially how this nakedness is not presented as objectified nakedness or sexualized nakedness. How to avoid male gaze? How this gaze towards women won’t lead to ideas of women being certain types? We paid a lot of attention to the presentation of nakedness. And we tested it with the cinematographer on our own bodies, on my own body and finding this key and also tested it with other women, talking about how they felt, etc. The result is really seeing everybody, and the bodies become landscapes. I'm very happy for the result, women wrote to me, and actually many men have written to me, saying they never know women's body can be seen this way. For me, one of the messages related to the visual choice or the language of cinematography, is to make you feel different way of being accepted. How did you find the protagonist or the sauna keeper, Kati? Yes, we call her a sauna keeper. She came on the second or third year of shooting. She's a friend that I know a long time. I had this thing that I should not persuade anyone to be part of the film. The process was very transparent concerning what level of intimacy and honesty I'm looking for. Only when people felt like joining it, they would be part of it. Secondly, to shoot this level of intimacy, we really need to have deep trust with one another. We agreed to the fact that they don't sign their releases before post-production, before they see the edit. Only after they say yes, we can continue. This requires huge vulnerability from the production side. But I think this film could not have been done otherwise. So it was really deep trust. Otherwise they would have been very self-conscious concerning what to say or not to say. But nobody can take their voice away. And the sisterhood continued after the filming. We didn't rehearse and we didn't go through what we are going to say in the smoke sauna. Let's go to smoke sauna and then things start to emerge. As you sweat, things come up. So Keiti came on shooting as a friend. Her mother had died. She heard about this project and really wanted to join the journey, this healing spiritual journey through the smoke sauna. Through this film, tackle some of the patterns that she wants to change and not to pass on to her daughter, and to heal the relationship between her and her mother. She later came on board and she was in all saunas. I think while talking about this film, it is also important to talk about how the whole process was like. As a director, what I believe in is not just about the subject matter but how we make films. It’s so important to understand how you can make bold, vulnerable, and powerful films, while being transparent and being open without abusing your power. It’s about including everyone. It's sisterhood that goes beyond genders. Absolutely. Next question is: As a singer in the electronic folk EETER, and one half of the composer for this film, how does your profession in music contribute to this film? And can you elaborate on the use of music in the film? I think filmmaking and composing are connected. Especially in editing process, how everything comes together, musical terminology is something that I use a lot. Music is something important and natural thing to do. It’s connected to smoke sauna and my heritage. My granny passed on many folk songs to me. When we think about what this film is about, you can say it’s about the whole experience of being born into a female body. How do we give voices to our experiences, how to give voices to all our emotions and experiences? From the start, it’s important that female voices are there. The band naturally comes in, because our band was made of three females, even though I define myself non-binary, but basically three people who are born into female bodies. Other part is from an Icelandic composer, Eðvarð Egilsson. I think this combination works very well. Our first meeting was in fact in a smoke sauna, getting naked. He flew from Iceland to Estonia. And we saw there is connection, in terms of deep connection with nature and sacredness in nature. We talked about where all the sounds come from: from the space, from nature, from the wood, from metal, from water, so that sounds from the space emerge together. What is the most important message that you want to deliver through this film? To really look into oneself. And not be afraid of the dark spaces, not be afraid of whatever experiences we have had. To give voice to all our experiences and emotions, to be the first one to start the sisterhood. In this kind of sisterhood, we are not competitors, we can support each other, give strengths to each other without judgment, without shame, and through that empower each other. I believe in this world where this way of being and being connected to each other and being also vulnerable with each other is possible. This sisterhood is going beyond genders. there is not an easy way to be connected. It means to go through the uncomfortableness and being vulnerable. For me, Smoke Sauna Sisterhood is a moment of radical self-acceptance. It's also somehow starts with accepting, yes, accepting yourself. Then you can accept the others. With all the illnesses and traumas and whatever we have been through in life. Now mentioning Women Make Waves IFF is getting 30 years old this year. What should we do about it? I think we should sing a song for all of you who attend the festival. There is this old tradition in Estonia of singing where one said a verse in the beginning and then everyone repeats [start singing]. We believe in our culture, the power of words. When you say something, you create that thing. When we do it all together, we create that bond and empower more. This is also a thank you song for this festival. What you have been doing is very important: empowering women. This is also what this film is doing. So I feel very warm feelings towards this festival. Thank you all. I really hope now that you can feel that smoke sauna and its magic and power in cinema. After you come out, some transformation has happened. Courage to be vulnerable, courage to voice your experiences and courage to redefine yourself. Own your body, own your voice outside cinema too.
專訪《召喚（致芭芭拉）》、《最終幻境》導演黛博拉・史察門 文／台灣國際女性影展訪問、整理 《最終幻境》（Last Things） 先從《召喚（致芭芭拉）》談起，這部片據稱源自瑪雅・黛倫（Maya Deren）和芭芭拉・漢默爾（Barbara Hammer）被擱置的電影計畫，請您先談談製作動機。 衛克斯那藝術中心給予芭芭拉・漢默爾一筆資金，藉此重拾過去未能完成的計畫，但後來她生病太嚴重，無法如願。於是，她聯繫了包括我在內的幾位藝術家，除了我之外，還有琳恩・薩克斯（Lynne Sachs）、馬克・斯特里特（Mark Street）和丹・維爾特里（Dan Veltri），問我們想不想用她的素材進行創作。 我跟芭芭拉不算真的認識，至少不太熟，之前只有在一些電影場合遇過一、兩次，但不像其他跟她合作過的人，有那樣親近的關係，我們也不是熟識的朋友。所以她聯繫我的時候，我非常驚訝。看到來電者顯示她的名字感覺很不真實，畢竟她是如此重要的人物。 原則上，她的提議都是很開放的。她信任我，讓我按照自己的想法運用她的素材。要是我創作這部片只是為了傳遞她的構想，那我就不會接受這樣的合作提議，而且會有其他比我做得更好的人。 是否也能談談合作是怎麼進行的呢？ 我們通話兩次，兩次我都詢問是否能錄音。通電話時，我還沒看過她提供的素材，那些是她在瓜地馬拉騎機車旅行時，拍攝的膠卷素材。她告訴我，那趟旅行只是想純粹的移動，沒有特定目標，也不為任何電影計畫，但當她一把膠卷拍完，就動身回家了。 這些素材是她在奇奇卡斯特南戈的一個市場拍的，在1970年代初，那是當地原住民族的市場，裡面主要在賣紡織品。芭芭拉對於這些紡織品和它們蘊含的故事深感興趣，也好奇這些歷史是如何在女人間代代相傳。她想知道女性書寫歷史的傳統是否會改變？若受到全球化風潮影響，女人是否還會編織？當地人是否會開始買便宜的進口貨？ 她知道我也會騎車，問我想不想騎去當地拍攝，但我當時已經把機車賣了，而且即便我再怎麼想去瓜地馬拉和那個市場走一趟，我也不希望是在那個時間點去。我想在芭芭拉還在世時，趕快動工，這才是最重要的。 再來，我也覺得不用自己拍攝新素材，只用她五十年前拍的素材創作的這個想法很棒，我喜歡在限制條件下創作。跟她講完電話後，我就知道我可以在聲音的處理上納入她對市場變化的反思。 本片細膩交織出三位導演與電影製作的關係。其中「Vever」的意象貫穿全片，以圖騰的形式疊映於畫面上，是否能談談這部分？ 跟芭芭拉通過電話，還沒開始剪輯作品時，我剛好重讀了瑪雅・黛倫的《神騎兵》（Divine Horseman），這是黛倫就她接觸海地巫毒的經驗寫成的一本書。她原先是為了拍攝前往海地，後來放棄了拍攝計畫，轉而寫出這本令人驚豔的書。重讀這本書給了我很大的啟發，我原先擔憂若單就我跟芭芭拉的對話進行創作，是否反而辜負了芭芭拉生涯的重要性。將瑪雅・黛倫帶入這個合作計畫，也無形中減輕了這方面的壓力。一旦這變成我們三方的合作，整個創作就變得更為明確、立體。芭芭拉和瑪雅有許多相似之處，她們都在面對非自身的文化，而且皆無法、或不願完全掌握她們的素材。 片中的「Vever」取自瑪雅・黛倫書中的仿作，繪者是黛倫當時的伴侶伊藤貞司（Teiji Ito）。伊藤曾為《午後的迷惘》（Meshes in the Afternoon）作曲，配樂如鬼魂，既熟悉又陌生。根據海地的巫毒傳統，人們會用粉末在地上畫圖騰，意謂召喚，並在上頭跳舞。圖騰成為一種傳送門，讓神靈得以通過，人（或召喚者）成為神靈的坐騎，並且被神靈附身。我在片中疊加「Vever」圖騰，如一種傳遞的形式，影像如坐騎，於我而言，召喚的便是我在電影之途的祖先、姐妹：芭芭拉和瑪雅。 再來想談談您的最新作品《最終幻境》。本片從科幻的故事內容與哲學思考汲取靈感，請問這些影響是如何形塑《最終幻境》的敘事和主題？ 我從小深受科幻小說的影響。跟許多其他類型一樣，科幻是一個非常出色的類型，自成一格，可透過相近但又是全然異質的他者世界，談論現今的社會政治處境。我指的不只是科幻的部分，而是包括更廣的書寫方式與內容。當我發現有些概念難以理解，比方說第七次物種大滅絕、或是它形塑的心理生態領域，我就會開始閱讀科幻。 本片主要受到兩本書的影響：J.H. 羅尼（J. H. Rosny）的《地球之死》（La Mort de la Terre）和《西佩胡斯人》（Le Xipéhuz）。波克斯兄弟遠遠領先於他們的時代，在科幻小說尚未被命名為科幻之前，他們就以筆名羅尼共同創作這樣類型的作品，並設想了非人類的外星入侵者不見得是帶著惡意而來，祂們只是遵從自己的本性，而人類剛好受到了威脅。 我原以為我會直接將這些故事改編成電影，但我馬上被談論演化的科學理論岔題，且深受礦物質與生命之間的關係所吸引，偏離了原先的計畫。我開始好奇，科幻虛構（science-fiction）與非虛構科學（science non-fiction）共享一個空間會是什麼樣子。 其中一個最精彩的部分便是，礦物擁有專屬於自己的敘事，獨立於人類的生命經驗。為何當初會鎖定礦物視角？ 礦物視角是一開始就存在的概念。在《大地之死》這本小說當中，入侵地球、取代人類的外星物種叫做「鐵磁類」（Ferromagnetics），它本質是一種緩慢演進的礦物生命形態，靠著吞噬鐵質來獲取能量，這當中也包括血液裡的鐵質。 但更主要的動機是，我曾在維也納自然歷史博物館看過一個關於礦物演化理論的展覽，那次的展覽全然顛覆了我對地球萬物的想像。地球生成之時，世上僅有幾種不同的礦物，但地球受到氣壓、大氣層、會呼吸的生物影響之後，礦物的數量和種類順勢暴增。與此同時，地球也經歷了大氧合事件（Great Oxygenation Event），也就是最初有能力透過光合作用的藍綠菌學會「食用」陽光，並且開始排放氧氣的階段。當時，地球上最主要的物種是只能夠在沒有氧氣的環境下生存的厭氧菌，大氧合事件不僅導致這些厭氧菌大規模絕種，也觸發了大量礦物種類的生成。 生命是需要礦物的，而礦物也需要生命，我們是密不可分的。因此，我決定嘗試透過礦物的構造來傳達我的理念，把礦石視作有主動性的「動詞」，而不是我們眼中的、靜止不變的「名詞」。把礦石視作我們的祖先，視作一種文本，想像成是有時間向度的，這在我們眼裏可能顯得陌生，但同時也是非常「接地氣」的。 本片同時在處理極為對立的兩端——極為宏大、極端微小的時間感知，這是否也影響了剪輯的過程？透過詩意的方式，來探討一個科學相關的主題是否衍生出任何挑戰，或激盪出一些有趣的想法？ 詩意、善用聯想的剪輯手法本來就是我原生的剪輯語言。無論是探討什麼樣的主題，若得訴諸其他呈現手法，對我來說反而困難。 我深知本片會同時包含宏觀、微觀，我也對一種混淆，或是錯估比例的狀態很感興趣。例如，將鏡頭從正在進行光合作用的、微小的矽藻顆粒切換到正在運行的太空梭太陽能板上。或者，從一團團漂浮的浮游生物切至靜止不動的峽谷山壁上，藉此在一瞬窺見幾億年間所發生的事情。那些小小的浮游生物在死去之後沉入海底，歷經了數千年的時間，這些生物性沉澱物才終於堆疊成宏偉壯觀、像山壁一樣的狀態。又或者我們可以將鏡頭從星星瞬間切換到新石器時代就存在的巨石陣，這馬上就有具像的轉換。影像是個非常好的媒介，能讓我們去探討空間與時間劇烈的變化。 本片以 16mm 拍攝，很難想像您要如何藉此呈現實驗室顯微鏡裡看見的畫面。您可否進一步說明您的拍攝過程？如何捕捉到這些驚人影像？ 我其實對於紀錄片本身的邊界感到很好奇。那個界線在哪裡、是由誰來決定的？在哪些情況下紀錄片會悄無聲息地，抑或以驟然、公諸於世的姿態轉變成一種虛構形式？ 我喜歡使用 16mm 膠卷，因為如此一來整個過程會慢下來，這似乎很符合礦石的狀態，而且膠卷的本質也是由礦物組成的。光打在懸浮於藥膜中的礦物質，將畫面鐫刻下來，彷彿是在雕刻礦石，這樣的物質性帶有一種透過觸摸來感知、覺察物體的特質。透過觸摸來建構的知識體系，是合宜且具有權威性的，不亞於透過實驗、數據來建構而成的知識體系。 這兩種認知體系也呼應了電影中出現的敘事者：分別是一位進行報告、陳述的地質科學家，以及編織故事的預言家。 影像來源其實非常多元，我用了一系列不同的攝影機，包括 Aaton、Arri S、Bolex 攝影機。為拍攝一些球粒隕石的畫面，我們將 Bolex 攝影機直接固定在顯微鏡上，但我同時也翻拍了很多電腦螢幕畫面、顯微鏡螢幕畫面、書籍，以及現有的檔案資料。這就是為什麼最後的影像來源名單會那麼長。 本片聲音的處理很厲害，像是礦物碰撞以及結晶的聲音、充滿未來感的訊號聲、微分音配樂，是否能談談聲音的處理？ 聲音也是來自於非常多元的素材。 以礦石分類學的片段來說，不同礦物輪番登場，配樂是一系列滑稽、有韻律的聲音，這些都是由尼可拉斯 · 柯林斯（Nicolas Collins）創作的。他用合成器的小號音色演奏，譜曲個性鮮明，聲音即便很電子、同時也聽得到呼吸，我非常喜歡。 礦物結晶生長的片段，則是混合了我所錄製的河流碎冰摩擦聲、冰川流動聲、開關門聲，以及摩擦保麗龍的聲音，創造出那段配樂。 有些聲音則是我自己利用各種麥克風、水下聽音器，以及地震探測器來錄製的。時至今日，我自己累積了規模相當龐大的音效檔案，都是我多年來錄製的。但也有許多聲音是其他錄音師在田野錄製的，收藏在各處資料館、檔案庫當中，包括了太空聲音檔案庫，我也在這些檔案庫中尋找聲音。 當然，也有聲音是創作出來的，可能聽起來有點像音效，畢竟比較偏電子。在影像、聲音取樣這兩方面，我其實都一樣抱持著一種順勢而為的心態。這些物質性的「引用」（quotation），其實會讓敘事本身的意義更加立體、更具多層面向，把原本就賦予在它們身上的價值、意義一併引入新的敘事。 Interview with Deborah Stratman, director of Vever (for Barbara), Last Things To begin with Vever (for Barbara), it’s stated that the film grew out of abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Can you elaborate on how it all began? Barbara had received a grant from Wexner that she’d intended to use to finish a number of projects which she’d left uncompleted. But she became too sick to do that. So instead, she reached out to some artists, namely Lynne Sachs, Mark Street, and Dan Veltri, myself included, to see if we’d want to work with the material. She and I did not know each other, or not well anyways. We’d met once or twice over the years at screenings, but I was not a close friend like some other collaborators, so I was surprised when she reached out. It was surreal to see her name on the caller ID. She’s such a formidable figure. Her proposal was very open - she trusted me to do what I wanted to with the material. This was instrumental. I wouldn't have agreed to collaborate if the invitation was just about executing her ideas. Other people could have done that much better. How did the process go? We had two phone conversations which I requested to record. This was before I ever had seen any of the material, which was film she had shot on a motorcycle trip to Guatemala. She spoke about this trip, and how she was traveling just to move. She didn’t have any intention. There was no particular project in mind… but once she used up the film, she turned around and headed home. The material she shot was at a market in Chichicastenango which at that time in early 70s, was an indigenous market full of textiles. Barbara became very interested in the weaving and in the stories those weavings contained. In how those histories had been passed down between women for generations. She was curious to know if this tradition of women writing history had changed, if the markets had become globalized, if the women were still weaving or if everyone bought cheap imports now instead. She knew I had also been a motorcyclist and wondered if I might want to ride down there to film. But I’d sold my motorcycle by then, and as much I’d like to visit Guatemala and the market there, I didn’t want to do it right then. I felt working fast while Barbara was still alive was the most important thing. Besides, I liked the idea of not shooting any of my own new material, just working with the film she’d shot 50 years ago. I like limitations. And besides, once we had the phone conversations, I knew I could sonically include musings about the market changes. The film remarkably weaves together three filmmakers’ unique relationships to filmmaking. How do you perceive the Vever drawings that appear as superimposed illustrations throughout the film? After I had begun speaking with Barbara but before I started editing, I found myself re-reading Maya Deren’s Divine Horsemen. This was a book that came out of Deren’s time in Haiti with the Vodoun culture. She had originally been there to make a film. But she abandoned that and wrote this astonishing book instead. Picking up that book just then was a revelation. Bringing Deren into the collaboration relieved the pressure I felt about doing justice to Barbara’s legacy through our dialogue. Once there were three of us, the project solidified. There were so many echoes between Hammer and Deren who were both working outside their own culture, and unable or unwilling to master their material. The Vevers in the film were taken from the reproductions in Deren’s book, which were drawn by Teiji Ito, her partner for a time. Ito also composed the music to Meshes in the Afternoon which sounds in the film a bit like a ghost. Familiar but displaced. Traditionally in Vodoun, Vevers are drawn on the ground in powder and danced over. The Vever becomes a portal through which the Loa (god) passes in order to ‘ride’ the human ‘horse’ or practitioner. The dancer is ridden, or possessed, by the Loa. I superimpose Vevers in my film to borrow the idea of portal, and the idea of being ridden… in my case by my filmic ancestor sisters, Barbara and Maya. Let’s talk about your latest film, Last Things. The film draws from philosophical themes and sci-fi tales. Can you elaborate on how these influences started to shape the narrative and themes of your film? Science-fiction has been an influence since I was a kid. It’s a remarkable genre, as so many genres are, for being able to speak to the socio-political present from an adjacent, but othered nearby. This has always been a philosophical place for me. Not just sci-fi, but the library in general. When I’m being troubled by an idea, like the 7th great extinction for instance, or the psycho-ecological territories it generates…I start reading. The kernels for the film were two JH Rosny stories: La Mort de la Terre (The Death of the Earth) and Le Xipéhuz. The Boex brothers were way ahead of their time. They co-wrote under the pseudonym Rosny before sci-fi was even a genre, and envisioned non-anthropic alien invaders that don’t necessarily come with any ill intent. They’re just following their own nature, which humans happen to be threatened by. I thought I was going to make more of a straight-ahead filmic adaptation of these stories, but quickly got side-tracked by the science surrounding evolution, and the incredible ties between minerals and life. So I started wondering what it might be like to have these two idioms, science-fiction and science non-fiction, share the same space. One of the amazing parts of this film is how sci-fi meets sci-fact, where rocks have their own narrative beyond the human experience. How did the mineral point of view come along in the first place? The mineral point of view was there from the beginning. In La Mort de la Terre, the encroaching alien force which will succeed mankind are the “Ferromagnetics” – a slowly advancing mineral life form that consumes iron for energy, including iron in blood. But the bigger catalyst was seeing an exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Vienna which described the theory of mineral evolution. It flipped my understanding of what happens on this planet. When earth formed, there were only a handful of minerals, but through exposure to pressures, atmospheres, and respirating biotic life, the number of mineral types exploded in number. Concurrent with the GOE (Great Oxygenation Event), when the first photosynthesizing cyanobacteria learned how to eat the sun and started outgassing oxygen… there was not only a mass extinction of anaerobes (creatures that live only in the absence of oxygen – which were the primary sort of creatures back then), but also this huge renaissance in mineral varieties. Life needs minerals. Minerals need life. We are intertwined. So I tried to figure out how to speak through the prism of minerals. How rocks as the active verbs they are instead of the static nouns we perceive them to be. How to posit rocks as our ancestors. Rocks as texts. Rocks as capable of time frames so alien to us and yet so utterly earthly. How did the focus on geological ecology and the extreme contrasts between macro and micro changes in time affect the editing of the film? Did the poetic approach to scientific subject matter present any challenges or spark interesting ideas? The poetic, associative approach is my indigenous editing language. I find it hard to speak in other ways, regardless of subject matter. I knew the film would contain a mix of macro and micro and I became interested in a conflation or mis-identification of scales. So that, for instance, the shot of a miniscule diatom (which is a photosynthesizing, silica-shelled alga) cuts to an orbiting spacecraft solar panel. Or when clusters of drifting plankton cuts to sedimentary canyon walls, we see in an instant what took billions of years to happen. Millennia of those little plankton drifting after death to the bottom of the sea and stacking up into what eventually become towering walls of biotic sediment. Or a Neolithic henge arrangement of boulders that materializes instantaneously, with a cut, from stars. Film is a good medium to address epic shifts of scale. In space or time. The film is remarkably shot on 16mm, which is sometimes unimaginable with things like a microscope in laboratory settings. How to capture all these wonderful images? Can you elaborate on your filming process? I’m curious about the edges of documentary. Where are they? Who defines them? When does documentary slip quietly into fiction, and when is the shift abrupt, declarative… I like working with 16mm because the process is slow, which seemed right for rocks, and because the medium itself is made of minerals. Light hits minerals suspended in the emulsion and etches them. So it’s a type of stone carving. Its materiality contains a knowing-through-feeling. Knowing through touch should be as relevant and authoritative as empirical, data-based knowing. These knowing-modes are echoed with the film’s narrators. One a geo-scientist, lecturing, reporting. The other, oracular, spinning her tale. The image sources are very diverse. I shot using a mix of cameras including an Aaton, an Arri S and a Bolex. For some of the chondrite images, we screwed the Bolex directly onto the microscope mount. But I also did a lot of re-shooting off computer monitors, microscope displays, books and existing archives. That’s why the image source credits are so long. Music and the sound effects in this film are truly remarkable. How are the sounds like mineral collisions or crystallization, futuristic signal sounds or microtonal soundtrack frequencies in the film produced or recorded? There are a huge number of sonic sources. In the rock taxonomy sequence, where the parade of mineral types is accompanied by comedic, alliterative sounds… those are all from a composition by Nicolas Collins who is playing a synthesized trumpet. The composition has so much personality. I love how those sounds are clearly electronic and yet there’s breath in them. In the sequences when the crystals are growing, the soundtrack there I made from mixing recordings of chafing river ice, glacial movement, squeaking doors and rubbing Styrofoam. Some sounds I record myself, using a variety of microphones, hydrophones and a geophone. I have a pretty big archive of sounds I’ve recorded over the years at this point. But many sounds are recorded by other field recordists and collected in archives where I find them, including space sound archives. And of course there’s all the composed music, which might sound a bit like sound effects as it’s primarily electronic. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to sampling image and sound sources. Material quotations make meaning more dimensional, the way they carry their original use value along with them into the new context.
「只要我完成作品，『它』就會存在。」 專訪《去聽美人魚唱歌》導演帕特麗夏・蘿茲瑪 訪談／周易、慧穎 翻譯、整理／季洋、芝諺、慧穎 《去聽美人魚唱歌》現在被視為酷兒經典，您拍攝《去聽美人魚唱歌》的契機為何？是什麼引發您訴說這「不尋常」的故事？ 製作《去聽美人魚唱歌》時，我處於一種天真無知的狀態，應該說「刻意的無知」。我想方設法不去模仿其他電影，我想要它有自己的聲音、自己的風格。我感覺許多電影變成傳遞可預期訊息的有效媒介。我不是太典型、能觸及一般議題的人，我的酷兒和女性導演身份，在我27歲時的電影圈是很少見的。應該是1987年或更久前，整整35年前啊，大家！ 總之，我希望這部作品有自己的聲音，我並不期望會吸引廣大的觀眾群。當然我並不排斥觀眾，但我是以作畫的心態在拍電影，想說：「嗯，也許人們會喜歡，也許我做得夠好，會有機會做下一部電影，但我不知道。」 我單純只是被音樂和敘事的組合打動，一種獨立於體制和商業之外的聲音。我並不是讀電影的，我讀的是哲學和宗教氣息濃厚的文學，所以我的背景在電影行業中是很不尋常的。其實當時拍片還稱不上我的職業，就只是想試試看，而我熱愛這一切，如果能透過創作把它們結合在一起不是很棒嗎？我喜歡寫故事，也很愛說故事。我想，若把這些結合起來而且人們喜歡，那很好；但要是人們不喜歡，它還是會存在。只要我完成作品，它就會存在。以前不存在任何像這樣的作品，我還沒看到我想看見的。一切關於女同志、關於酷兒的作品，都帶有一點悲劇或警世意味，但我想把「酷兒性」放進更大的生活脈絡。並不只是（切換成機器人聲）：「故事是這樣的，人類生理女愛上了生理女，她對她的感情能否被成全？這對人類女同志能在一起嗎？」不，這些都像在侷限我的經驗，所以我想要說更多事情。我認為性傾向只是一個人的眾多面向之一，而我不只是如此，我是很多很多面向的集合體。所以我想要把酷兒性嵌入更大的脈絡，關於藝術、個人信念、藝術界的權威和主體性。 《去聽美人魚唱歌》同時是多倫多新浪潮、甚至整個加拿大獨立電影發展的重要里程碑，並入選1987年的坎城影展。請分享一下當時的情況。 那時候的多倫多非常令人興奮，有我朋友艾騰．伊格言（Atom Egoyan），還有唐．麥克凱勒（Don McKellar）、布魯斯．麥克唐納（Bruce McDonald）等。當然加拿大也有優良的文學傳統，像瑪格麗特．愛特伍（Margaret Atwood）和艾麗斯．孟若（Alice Munro）、麥可．翁達傑（Michael Ondaatje），還有瑪麗．麥克唐納（Ann-Marie MacDonald），雖然那時她還沒開始寫作，但我相信她是我們之中的佼佼者。而我當時感到新的能量正在崛起，講白一點，還有新的商機。一直以來都是美國在拍劇情片，我們則被歸類為紀錄片出產國，但當時突然新興了對劇情片的重視，而我剛好站在這扇即將敞開的門前，捧著叫做《去聽美人魚唱歌》的點子。我拿到了資金，又恰逢坎城影展，於是我填了報名表，除了我的經紀人亞歷山卓．哈菲（Alexandra Raffé）以外，沒有告訴任何人。我覺得不需要有人知道。填完，等待，接到電話，寄出片子，一切就這樣發生了。 那是一次非凡的經驗，希拉．麥卡錫（Sheila McCarthy）、製片和我三個人有去現場，我們都被震懾住了。我們極度像患上了冒牌者症候群。多數時候我們只是笑著，那時我法文糟透了，現在也沒多好啦，但那時真的很糟。我們只是一直用法文說：「quel fromage?」，那是我們唯一想到能說的。 皮埃爾亨利．德羅（Pierre-Henri Deleau）看了《去聽美人魚唱歌》，打給我們說想放這部片。我們突然有了個艱鉅的任務，要把16毫米膠卷放大成35毫米，才能在坎城放映，而我們得想辦法籌出五萬元。這時有個好心人羅飛．坎普（Jan Rofekamp）提供了資金，然後突然之間，這部電影的版權就被賣到四十個國家。一切都很驚奇，人們送香檳、起立鼓掌，我非常感動。我覺得我是個格格不入的局外人，我的電影就像我試著畫出的草圖，和我哼給自己聽的歌，但突然間我已經站上世界最大的影展舞台，看著人們笑著、哭著。這是我一輩子都會珍惜的時刻——自己的心能被其他人的心接納，在任何人的生命中都會是個驚喜的時刻。 在影片中有三個主要的角色。能否請您分享這三個角色設定背後的意涵？找尋波莉這個角色對當時的您而言是否是一項挑戰？ 我創造了三個角色，他們都是其中一個面向的我。策展人代表我批判性的一面，波莉則是天真、缺乏安全感，還有點後知後覺，瑪麗喬瑟夫（由 Ann-Marie MacDonald飾演）則是那種害怕展現自我的藝術家，她只希望創作的藝術家，但對於自己的性向充滿自信。三個角色是互為對立面的狀態，以激盪出更真實的對話，並確保我認真看待每一個人的聲音，如同他們是我的一部分，他們對於自己的存在也十分自在。但那種衝突是：老天，我看過的電影、聽過的音樂和見過的藝術作品都影響我極深，如果我無法創造那樣的作品怎麼辦？我渴求那樣的藝術創造勝過任何事物，如果我的作品達不到那個境界，我還要做嗎？要是我無法做到怎麼辦？我應該放手一搏嗎？我要不要自欺欺人，然後強迫自己去做？還是聽從那些反對的聲音？他們不懂我，畢竟女性在當時是極少數。更何況還有女同志的禁忌，在荷蘭加爾文派的薰陶下長大⋯⋯。我甚至有種想像，自己應該要長得陰沉又瘦，痛苦地抽著菸，彎腰駝背的。我想像了一個跟自己完全不符的藝術家形象。我其實想要成為蘇珊桑塔格(Susan Sontag)，但我看起來一點也不像她。 所以我想，那就拍出自己想看到的。相信那些聲音，相信那些在你心中喧嘩相辯的聲音，並且享受在其中！ 我其實從沒想過那會被歸類成喜劇，結果這部片的錄影帶和DVD被放在喜劇區（對的，在那個年代），這令我感到驚訝，我原想它應該比較偏溫柔有趣、發人深省，魔幻寫實的基調⋯⋯，但就這樣吧。 希拉．麥卡錫（Sheila McCarthy）是一塊寶，波莉的角色我試鏡了許久，看過很多人。我的記憶是：當她一進來，我心想：「噢我的天，你好完美，你好完美。」，但她的記憶是：「我讓她試鏡五個小時。」當時她已經快受不了了，如果我不當場給她這個角色，她立刻就會走人。當場，我定下她的角色。 我們到現在仍然是朋友。對了，你們去看一部《Women Talking》，由莎拉．波莉（Sarah Polley）執導，很令人驚艷。希拉．麥卡錫在劇中飾演一個非常老的女人，演得非常好。整部片非比尋常，精確地呈現特定時空，以不可思議的自信和存在方式，超然地體現當今最重要的議題。如果可以的話，去看莎拉．波莉的《Women Talking》。 希拉和我自始至終都勇敢地放手享受。她很幽默，我們總是能夠逗樂對方，一點就中，我會說：「好，卡！希拉你可以演好一點嗎？」然後她會大笑。道格拉斯．科赫（Douglas Koch）是攝影，我覺得他很有幽默感，甚至能帶來視覺上的幽默，這不是每個人都有的天賦。像片中波莉抱著大得詭異的箱子去策展人的生日派對，她做什麼都不對。「尷尬」可以玩出很多東西。 這部片觸及藝術很多不同面向，還有「尷尬」，我發覺「尷尬」是人類經驗裡，最為豐富飽滿的面向之一。困窘時，我們甚至會換顏色，掌心開始冒汗，它對我們有極大的影響。有時候會看不下去，但看別人難堪又很療癒，因為我們都緊抓著自己的尊嚴，一旦我們的尊嚴溜出掌心，就好像也失去了自我。所以我當時只是剛好探索到這一塊，或許人們對這部片有共鳴也是這個原因。 時隔約35年，您如何看待這部電影？它對您有何意義？ 這是我第一個寶寶，是我的朋友，且依然帶給我歡笑。我十分珍惜我在那部片中享有的自由。因為當時不期不待，所以拍攝時有很大的自由，我非常珍惜。這種狀態對藝術創作是很好的。我喜愛影片中那段自拍獨白，因為那十分親密，你能夠直接與對方的雙眼接觸。 同時，我以它為榮。希望你們覺得這部片值得看，可以的話，分享給你的親朋好友，我向台灣的你們和女性影展傳達最誠摯的祝福。如果有任何人想拍片，聽從你內心的聲音，相信它。做足所有的功課，傾聽自己，做事，然後好好的玩，這就是我給你的建議。 I can make this thing, and it exists!! Interview with Patricia Rozema, director of I've Heard the Mermaids Singing I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing is now regarded as queer classics. Now looking back, what made you decide to make I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing? What drove you to tell an “unusual” story back then? I made I Have Heard the Mermaid Singing at the state of innocence and ignorance. Deliberate ignorance, actually. I was very keen not to imitate other movies. I wanted it to have its own voices, its own style. And I felt like a lot of movies were efficient vehicles of expected messages, and I knew that I was not a standard general issue type of human. I am queer and female in the film business which was much rare at that time. I was 27. It was 1987. 35 five years ago, my friends. So I wanted to have its own voice, and I didn’t expect a giant audience for it. I wasn’t opposed to it, but I really approach filmmaking that one might approach making a painting. You think: yeah, maybe people would like it, maybe I can do well enough to make another movie, but I don’t know. I was just very moved by the combination of narrative, music and a voice that was not compromised by the system or the business. I didn’t study film, I study philosophy and literature in religious context, so I came from a very unusual place for this kind of career choice. It wasn’t even about career, it was more like, “let’s try this.” I love all the parts, and wouldn’t it be amazing if I can make something that holds together. I love writing stories and telling stories. I just thought I would put it all together, and if people like it great, but if people don’t like it, there is still this thing there! I can make this thing, and it exists!! There is nothing like that outside. I wasn’t seeing what I wanted to see. Anything that has lesbian or queer have a bit feeling of tragedy or cautionary tales. But I just want to put queerness in the context of bigger life. It was not like here’s the story (with robot-like voice): human woman feels attraction for human woman. Will she be able to have this attraction fulfilled? Will these human lesbians together? No, that felt like diminishment of my experience, so I wanted to talk about many more things as well, because I think, one’s sexuality, one’s orientation is one of many many things. I am many many things, so I am not only those things, and I felt I want to embed it into a larger life and other questions about art making, confidence, authority in art and subjectivity. It not only set an important milestone in both queer cinema, but also in the development of the Toronto New Wave, and the film was selected for the 1987 Cannes Film Festival. Can you share about the experience back then? The time was kind of exciting in Toronto, Atom Egoyan was a friend, and there was Don McKellar, Bruce McDonald. But in fact we had a great tradition of writers in our country, like Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro. Michael Ondaatje, and Ann-Marie MacDonald. She hadn't started writing yet, but she was one of our greats I believe. So I do feel there was a new energy, and there was new money actually, to be perfectly frank. We are always a kind of documentary country and the Americans did the fiction, and suddenly there was new emphasis on doing new fiction films. And I just happened to be someone standing at the door with my hand holding my idea called, I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing. So I got some money to do it and submit it to the Cannes Film Festival. I filled out the form without telling anybody but my producer, Alexandra Raffé. I thought no one needed to know. We'll just fill this out and let it be held. We got a call, and had to send it there and off we go! And it was an extraordinary event, here we were stunned. Sheila McCarthy, Alexandra Raffé and I were there. We thought we were impostor syndrome on steroids. We laughed most of the time, my French was absolutely terrible. It's not much better now. And we kept saying, "quel fromage" which means "what cheese," which is all we could think of saying. Basically Pierre-Henri Deleau watched it, and said we're gonna program it. The giant challenge was to get our 16mm blown up to 35mm, because it couldn’t be shown at Cannes unless we blew it up, so that we have to figure out 50 thousand dollars or something. A good man Jan Rofekamp came to the floor and gave us the money. Suddenly the film was sold to 40 countries in Cannes. People were sending champagne and standing ovations. It was so moving for me. I felt like I was this weird, completely alone outsider. Just doing some sketches, and humming along, and that was my movie. Suddenly I was at the stage of one of the biggest film festivals in the world. People are laughing and crying, that is the stunning moment that I would cherish my whole life. To have your heart welcomed into the hearts of others, is a stunning moment in anyone’s life. There were three main characters. Can you share with us what’s the idea of having these three characters? Was finding Polly a challenge back then? I made three character, and they are one side of me, the curator with more critical mind, Polly is more innocent and insecure and a bit oblivious mind, and Mary Joseph character (starring Ann-Marie MacDonald) is more like artist who is afraid to present themselves, and just want to make things, but confident in her own sexuality. I put them all in opposition to each other, as a strategy for creating authentic dialogue, and making sure that I take each voice seriously, like they are part of me, and at comfort as they were. But the conflict was I have seen movies, heard music, seen arts that are of huge impact for me. What if I can’t make it? I wanted it more than anything, What if I can't? Should I do it anyway? Should I just like trick and finagle, and like force myself into something so that I can still do it? Should I take the naysayers seriously? They don't get me as the fact of being a woman, which was much more rare at that time. And lesbian taboo, and coming from a Dutch Calvinist background. And I also have this idea of should I look kind of dark, super thin, kind of anguish, smoking and hunched over. I just have this image that I didn’t fit. I didn’t fit my own image. I wanted to be Susan Sontag actually, but I didn’t look like that. Anyway. So I thought, just make things that you want to see, trust the voices, trust that somehow debating within yourself is a worthy one. And have fun! I hadn't thought it would be a comedy actually, and the VHS or DVD (yeah back in those days) ended up in the comedy section, that kind of surprised me. I thought it was going to be sort of a gently amusing, thoughtful, magic-realist base, but anyway. Sheila McCarthy was gold. I auditioned for this character Polly for a long time, a lot of people. When she came, my memory was like, “oh my god, you are perfect.” Her memory was like I had an audition for five hours or something horrible (laugh). She was about to get fed up and walk out if I didn’t give it to her right away. And I did give it to her. We have remained friends. Actually see a movie called Women Talking by astounding filmmaker Sarah Polley. Sheila McCarthy played a very old woman, and she does so beautifully. The whole film is so extraordinary. And I don't think that they're unrealistic that this film will be getting some attention, come Oscar time. It's so specific to a place and time, and leaps with incredible confidence and presence to transcendent embodiment of the most important discussion right now. See Women Talking by Sarah Polley if you can. Sheila and I just dared to have fun all the way through. She had this fantastic sense of humor, we made each other laugh all the time. Like almost immediately, I can say things like, “Ok, cut, Sheila can you just act better?” And she would laugh. Doug Koch shot it. He had a great sense of humor and visual humor. And that's not given to everyone. When she goes to the curator's birthday party, she’s carrying this large box, and does everything wrong. Embarrassment is a lovely thing to play. The film touches upon many different aspects of art. And Embarrassment, one of the most fruitful realms of human experience. When we are embarrassed, we are actually changed in color. Like liquid coming out of a palm. It was a profound force for us. Very difficult sometimes to watch, and healing to see in others, because we all live in such a desperate grasp on our own dignity. When we felt it slipping away, we felt like ourselves were slipping away. I just stumbled on that as a state of being to explore. I think that might be one of the things people are responding to with this movie. After around 35 years, how do you look at this movie now? It’s my first born. It’s my friend, it still makes me laugh. I cherish the freedom that I had in it. When I didn’t expect or hope for anything, it’s a lovely state of being to make art in. I love the camera monologue, because it’s intimate, you are looking at eyes. And I am proud of it. I hope you find it worthy with your time, and share it with your friend if you can. I send you good will to Taiwan, and send the festival good will. If there is anyone out there on the brink of making movies, hear your own voice, trust it. Get as much homework, do the homework, and listen to yourself, and work, and play. That's my advice to you.
「難道要拍一部片說『接受死亡吧⋯⋯』，才不要咧！」 專訪《不自然的六幕喜劇》、《親愛的奶奶，晚安》導演簡・奧森伯格 採訪／陳慧穎、周易 翻譯、整理／陳慧穎、李季洋、潘芝諺 您在早期拍攝了一系列短片，《不自然的六幕喜劇》為其中之一，請分享您決定拍攝這部電影的契機。 這部片是很久之前拍的，1975年。我從小就接收各種可怕的觀念，我從沒聽說過女同志、酷兒之類的事情；就算聽說了，內容也一定是非常糟糕的。我記得小時候坐在客廳地板上看電視播出《雙姝怨》（The Children's Hour）。電影中，莎莉．麥克琳（Shirley MacLaine）和奧黛莉．赫本（Audrey Hepburn）是共同經營一間女子學校的商業夥伴。一名女孩散布謠言說莎莉．麥克琳所飾演的角色是個女同志。這當然只是謠言，但對莎莉．麥克琳來說卻是真的，只是她從未對任何人坦承。片中有一幕，她終於對奧黛莉．赫本坦白，她說「我覺得很難受又骯髒」，接著就上吊了。這就是我對於受過教育的女同志人生的第一印象：即使事業有成，你還是會上吊自殺。 許多年後，我進入電影學院就讀，也經歷了女性主義運動。每個人都想顛覆一切，導正所有錯得離譜的事物，而我想嘲諷一下社會對女同志的刻板印象。有些人會說：「請接受我們，我們和你們並沒有不同。」這很棒，但我更想做出能娛樂女同志、也能被其他群體欣賞的作品。這部片諷刺了社會對於女同志的刻板印象，像是女同志會性騷擾兒童、當壁花，或都是因為被男人拒絕才變成女同志⋯⋯等刻板印象，這部片就是這樣來的。 現在回顧，您會怎麼看待這部片和這些刻板印象？考量現今的社會情況，若有可能，您會改變或加入什麼內容？ 當初看到這個問題，覺得這問題滿值得深省的，因為現在有許多事情都不同了，LGBTQ+群體被視為和其他人一樣有各種性格特質，可能是好人也可能是壞人。但仇視的玩笑還是存在，在我的國家，社會憎惡「覺醒」份子（woke），「人們該正向看待LGBTQ+群體」的觀念，反而被右翼當成煽動仇恨的工具。 若要講我會加入什麼刻板印象，我第一個會想到的就是非常「覺醒」、到處檢舉別人或指正錯誤，像是正義使者的酷兒形象。我意識到這非常可怕，因為在我的國家，右翼人士就是透過深化這樣的刻板印象，來推動一個很可怕的時代。 您的首部長片《親愛的奶奶，晚安》，由詹姆斯．夏慕斯（James Schamus）共同監製，歷時12年完成。是否能分享該片的製作緣起？ 對，詹姆斯．夏慕斯是這部片的共同監製，如你所知他和李安長期合作，包括經典電影《囍宴》。 但我這部片集結了所有會讓人不想看的關鍵字，像是「紀錄片」、「祖母」、「紙片人偶」等，主題又是「死亡」、「癌症」，聽起來真不像一部好看的電影。我也不知道我當時在幹嘛，也許因此讓這部片有一種原創性——我並不是在嘗試拍攝某種特定類型的電影。 一切都是從我發現奶奶得了癌症開始，我想要和她錄音，日後自己留存。在家庭中，她的存在一直被視為理所當然。她處在女性沒什麼機會發展事業的時代，我母親一直抗拒變得像外婆一樣，我則抗拒成為我母親。所以當我專注在外婆身上，我發現她很有想法和幽默感。她談論死亡的方式十分迷人。事情就這樣接續下去，我和一群朋友帶著攝影器材，我們在她過世前記錄下部份影像，她過世後我又再和我家人拍一些素材。我沒資金，也不知道要怎麼運用那些素材，直到我外婆過世後幾年，我才開始寫劇本。 劇本中，我讓五歲的自己化成人型紙板來經歷這些事。概念是：一個人過世後，時間隨之崩解，過去與她相知、相處的每一刻都是一樣的，都化為當下，那都是當下的。愛著外婆的那個五歲的我，仍舊是那個實際感受經歷這一切的那個我，所以直覺地做出了紙板人物，讓她來帶領我們穿梭在紀錄影像間，探問死亡帶來的無解提問。 信不信由你，有人就是相信這也能做成電影。獲得一些資金後，我開始拍攝。國外電視台和藝術機構幫了很大的忙。你應該不會想聽這整整十二年的製作過程吧？太長了啦！ 我沒有放棄，所以才有這部電影。也要感謝詹姆斯．夏慕斯、林恩．霍爾斯（Lynn Holst）和桑德拉．舒爾伯格（Sandra Schulberg），感謝製片公司「American Playhouse」，這部片因為他們才得以完成，並於日舞影展首映。 我非常幸運，桑德拉・舒爾伯格當初有幫這部片找錢，後來創辦了「IndieCollect」，著手修復早年使用16mm或 35mm膠卷拍攝的電影。她讓我的電影和許多其他人的作品得以復活、重新被世人看見。 請問使用紙片人偶的想法是怎麼產生的？ 我是受了史貝柏格（Hans-Jürgen Syberberg）的《希特勒：一部德國電影》（Hitler: A Film from Germany，美國版片名：Our Hitler）啟發。該片反思德國如何產生希特勒，並包含多種元素——劇情、紀錄、人偶、劇場等等。我想我是看了這部富有哲思的電影受了啟發。《親愛的奶奶，晚安》也是一部探究龐大命題的家庭電影，探究愛與死亡。任何關乎死亡的事物都與愛有關。 一切得從一場電影院場景開始講起。在片中，有一段是她帶我去看我的第一部電影，覺得到處都是外婆，全都用紙片呈現，那乾脆我也變成紙片人偶。現在回想起來，當時會直覺這麼做也可能是因為知道紙片人偶不會死。我把小時候的自己做成紙片——是我內心中的那個孩童時期的自己在失去外婆，也失去了妹妹，這在電影中也有提到。我妹的年紀就一直停留在七歲。 另外，考量這部片的製作時間很長，能想到要用紙板人偶很幸運啦！如果請了一個演員，她早就跑去做別的工作了，但我的紙板人偶不會有其他工作。 是否能分享一下拍攝過程，有些場景滿激烈的⋯⋯ 首先我要說，我們所拍攝的影像素材沒有很多，並沒有龐大的攝影團隊24小時跟拍家人的情況，我們拍的都至少有一部分出現在電影裡。我們有記錄下我外婆臨終前住院的那段時光，難以直視，但我還是做了那樣的決定。待在那裡很艱難，看著你所愛的人病情惡化是件十分痛苦的事情。她待在那裡是沒有選擇權的，她還活著，還有意識，但這是她當時正在經歷的。所以問題是我要單獨留她在醫院，還是想辦法找尋一種方式陪伴她。這部電影幾乎成了我的支柱，支持著我和外婆的相處，帶著攝影機就有理由待在她身邊。這也讓她有機會說再見，她會說：「把攝影機和電影帶來，把這一切都帶去她死後的世界」，她顯然也喜歡影像使她永存的概念。而她一定想不到有天我會和台灣觀眾談起她。她曾說：「你真的會放這部片給大家看嗎？」 但我們真的這麼做了。外婆！我們做到了！ 她是個平凡人，不是什麼織了一條百哩長棉被的人（笑）。她有個家庭，愛著她的家。而這就是我想做的，向每個人的所愛之人，每個人的祖母致敬。 片中可以看見家人之間有緊密的連結，當然也提出一些滿激烈的問題，請問您的家人怎麼看待這一部分？ 我的家人非常活潑，我們會討論也會爭執。我有個弟弟成為了哲學教授，他會激烈地提出各種哲學問題。這部片當初上映時，他有一點在生我的氣，因為他在片中說話時，我的紙片人偶把手舉起來朝自己的太陽穴開槍。當然我是在拿手足關係開玩笑。我愛我弟，我也很開心人們喜歡他為這部片添增的色彩，提出種種大哉問。總之，他的確生了一陣子的氣，但現在他為這部片感到驕傲，甚至還分享這部片給自己的兒子看。 不幸地，我母親三年前去世了，不過她有看到這部片被修復完成的樣子。當初上映時她就非常喜歡，後來數位修復版在皇后區世界電影節（Queens World Film Festival）首映，她也在場。理查德．布羅迪（Richard Brody）在《紐約客》刊登了一篇精彩的影評，讓這部片得以被選入「標準收藏」，並再次於世界各地放映。在那之後，她就過世了。我並不喜歡這樣！這部片就是與死亡的抗爭！並不是說「讓我們接受死亡吧……」，我的意思是，我們必須接受死亡！不然還能怎麼樣？難道要拍一部片說「接受死亡吧⋯⋯」？才不要咧，我的電影更像是：「不！我不喜歡死亡！」。儘管這都是徒勞。 不過在她過世後，我在她的公寓中找到一整櫃滿滿的影評，我要哭了。每一張傳單、所有關於我作品的文章評論，她都收藏著。 我想提一下您的首部短片《Home Movie》，和首部長片一樣都是在處理家庭題材。 確實我的第一部短片《Home Movie》和首部長片《親愛的奶奶，晚安》在風格上是類似的，或許可以稱為個人的散文電影。在片中，我是個小孩，我弟才剛出生，還是個嬰兒。而我會模仿媽媽抱著弟弟的樣子。我有個玩偶，會餵它。我看著玩偶，把它丟向房間的另一角，並開始跳舞。還有，我成為了啦啦隊員。我也談到出櫃、加入啦啦隊，當然只是為了要和其他啦啦隊員在一起。我剛向母親出櫃時她不太能接受，但她還是試圖表現支持。我拍《Home Movie》的時候，不認識任何影評人。但我們有做傳單，需要一些推薦語。因此，我請母親幫我寫一篇影評。她就寫：「《Home Movie》是一部非常細膩、拍得很好的電影。我覺得我的女兒是個有才華的導演，我希望她會在『其他題材』上有更多發揮。」 很不可思議，這一切就是這樣開始的！《Home Movie》現今被視為最早的女性主義女同志電影之一，1997年你所編劇的影集《Relativity》則在美國電視黃金時段播出首個女女之吻。當還沒有太多人在做這樣的事情的時候，你是怎麼跨出這一步的？ 其實在我之前有很多真正的開路先鋒，他們真的在做不曾有人做過的事。我能做些事情，是因為我有社群。1970年代有龐大的女性社群，以前我看著《雙姝怨》中的莎莉．麥克琳上吊自殺，但後來的我，身處在一個龐大社群中，和眾人一起咆哮：「我們是女同志！我們是酷兒！我們是黛客！」大聲喊出所有被污名的詞彙，再加上女性主義運動，這就是我能做那些事背後的脈絡。 就算是《親愛的奶奶，晚安》，我在紐約身邊有一群獨立電影導演，他們不模仿主流，不模仿好萊塢的成功模式，或許是因為對我們來說它太遙遠。我們互相支持，拍不一樣的電影。要做些不同的事當然需要勇氣，但身邊有個支持你的社群真的有很大的助益，就算只是幾個人也好。 “Did I have to make a movie saying: let’s all accept death? No!!” Interview with Jan Oxenberg, director of Thank You and Good Night and A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts In the early days of your career, you made a series of short films including A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts. Can you tell us about in what context you decided to make this film ? This film was made a long time ago, 1975. I have grown up with terrible images. If there was anything called lesbian or queer, you never heard about it, but when you did hear about it, it’s in very bad context. I remember when I was little, sitting on the floor, watching The Children's Hour on TV. Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn are business partners who owned a girl’s school in the film. One of the girls started to rumor that Shirley MacLaine’s character is a lesbian. It's not true, but for Shirley MacLaine, it’s true inside. She has never admitted to anyone. In one scene, she finally confessed to Audrey Hepburn by saying “I feel so sick and dirty.” And then in the next scene, she hanged herself. So this is my introduction to what life would be like as an educated lesbian. Even if you are very successful at your career, you’ll get to hang yourself. Years later, when I got to the film school and experienced the time of feminist revolution, everybody wanted to turn everything upside down, making thing right that have been so wrong. I wanted to really ridicule the stereotype of lesbianess. You know there were people saying, “please accept us, we are just like you,” which was good, but I wanted to make an entertainment for lesbians, and could be seen and enjoyed by anybody else. And the film would satirize the stereotypes of being a child molester, a wall flower, or becoming a lesbian because men rejected her, so on and so forth. That’s where it came from. Now looking back, how do you perceive this film and these stereotypes now? Concerning the social environment nowadays, if you have a chance to remake the film, what will you change or add? I saw this question, and thought it’s really provocative. Because at this time, we have been so many changes. LGBTQ+ people are somewhat seen as people who have a range of characteristic like anybody else, can be good person or bad person. But obviously the hate joke exists. In my country, hate or resentment of people who are considered “woke”. The idea of “you should be positive about LGBTQ+ person” is now used by the right wing to stoke resentment. The first thing came into my mind about what stereotype that I add now was a super “woke” queer person who “cancels” people or who has things to say about anybody who does wrong. And I realize that’s kind of scary. Because that’s what the right wing in my country is doing, to promote a very scary time. Speaking of Thank You and Good Night, it took 12 years in the making, and really stood out as an remarkable example of independent cinema, co-produced by James Schamus. Can you share with us how this project came together and what made you decide to make this film? Yes, James Schamus, the co-producer of my film, as you know, has worked with Ang Lee. They have worked together on a classic film The Wedding Banquet. But Thank You and Good Night is a film that has every buzz word that makes you not want to see a movie, like documentary, grandmother, starring a cardboard cutout, and yeah! It’s about death. And cancer. Let’s not forget cancer. So it doesn’t really seem a good idea to make a movie about that. But I didn’t know what I was doing, maybe that’s what makes things original. Because I wasn’t trying to make a certain kind of movie. It started when I found out my grandmother had cancer and I thought I would like to do a tape recording with her, so I can have that for myself. In my family, we have taken her for granted very much. She belongs to a generation of women who did not have a lot of opportunity to have a career. My mother was always rebelling against being like her, and I was always busy with rebelling against being like my mother. When I put a lot of attention on my grandmother, I discovered that she had ideas and this great sense of humor. And she was willing to talk about contemplating dying in a way that was very captivating. And one thing led to another. With a bunch of friends, film equipment, we shot a little bit of time before she died, and a little bit after she died with my family. I had no funding and I had no idea what to do with the footage. So I ended up writing the script over a few years after my grandmother died. A script in which I made a cardboard cutout figure of myself as a five-year-old girl experiencing these events. With the idea that, when someone dies, time kind of collapses. Every time that you know that person, it’s all the same. It’s all present. My five-year-old self, loving my grandma, was the one who was there feeling all the feelings, so intuitively I just made this cardboard cutout character, who will guide us through these footages, asking the big unanswerable questions that death brings up. Believe or not, there were some people who were sure that this was going to work as a movie. So I started filming some scenes when I got to receive some financing. Foreign television and some art organizations are really helpful. You don’t really want to hear what happened during the course of 12 years, do you? So long (laugh). I didn’t give up, that’s how it got made. Thanks to people like James Schamus, Lynn Holst, as well as Sandra Schulberg. The film was finally able to finish with American Playhouse and premiere at Sundance. I also have to say that I am incredibly lucky that Sandra Schulberg who was part of getting the film financed at the first place started the IndieCollect, started restoring films made on 16mm, 35mm in the early days. She was responsible for my films and many others, in order to get them revived and re-appreciated. How did the idea of cardboard cutout come along? I was influenced by this 7-hour film called Our Hitler by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, a meditation on how Germany got Hitler. It has all kinds of elements: drama, puppets, documentary footage, theater, etc. Seeing that movie, which was philosophical in a way, and Thank You and Good Night is a family movie that asks about a big subject, death and love. Because anything about death is really about love. I guess I was influenced by seeing that film. It all started out as one scene in the movie theater. She took me to see my first movie and felt like she was all around me. So to have all these cardboard cutouts, and I would be a cardboard cutout too. But looking back on it, the impulse partly has to do with the fact that a cardboard cutout doesn’t die. I portrayed myself as a child in this cutout character. Well, that’s the child inside me that is losing my grandma, and that has lost my sister, which also comes up in the movie. My sister never got older than 7 years old. It's also lucky for me to come up with this idea of having a cutout character, given how long it takes to finish this film. if I had an actor, who would be up for doing another job! My cutout character did not have another job (laugh). Can you also share about the filming process? Some of the scenes are really intense… First of all, very little footage was shot, so it wasn’t a situation where a large film crew followed the family for 24 hours. Every scene that we shot, there was a piece of that scene in the movie. We did film my grandmother when she was in the hospital in the last days. It’s tough to watch. I made the decision. It’s tough to be there. It’s hard to watch someone you love deteriorating. At that time, I felt like she didn't have any choice about being there. She was alive, and that’s what she was experiencing. The choice is either leave her alone, not be with her, or to find a way to be with her. The film was almost like a crutch for me, to be able to spend that time with my grandmother. Having a camera, having a “reason” to be there. And it gave her a chance to say goodbye. She said, “are you ever gonna take this movie out and show them, Jan?” She clearly loved the idea of being immortalized in some way, and I am sure she cannot possibly have imagined that one day I’d be able to talk about her to someone in Taiwan! She’d say, “how you gonna take this movie out and show them Jan?” (laugh). Ok, we are, grandma, we did! And she is an ordinary person. She is not someone who made a quilt that is 100 miles long (laugh). She had a family and loved her family. So that’s what I wanted to do. To make a tribute to everybody’s loved ones, everybody’s grandma. One thing I am curious about is that we truly see the strong bonding among family members, but we also see some of the really difficult questions asked in the film. So how did the family member take on that? My family is very lively. We talked and argued. I have a brother who turned out to be a philosophy professor at the university who asked philosophical questions in a very intense way. He was a little bit mad at me when the film came out, because I did the cardboard cutout character shooting herself while he was talking. I was sort of made fun of sibling relationship. I love my brother, and I am really glad that people who have appreciated what my brother added to the film, in terms of being willing to ask big questions. Anyway, he did feel mad at me for a little while, but now he is proud of it, and proud to show it to his son. Sadly my mom died three years ago, but she got to see the revival of the film. She was a big fan when it came out originally. She was there when the restored version premiered at the Queens World Film Festival. Richard Brody of the New Yorker gave this amazing review, which helped it get in The Criterion Collection, and get shown all over the world again. Since then, she passed away, which I don’t like either!! The film was a kind of protest against death!! It’s not like, “let’s all accept death…” I mean we have to accept death!! What choice do we have!! And I have to make a movie saying “accepted”?!! No, my movie is more like, “no!!! I don’t like death!” But then it’s kind of futile. But, after she died, I found in her condo, she had a full cabinet full of every review, now I am starting to cry. Every flier, everything written about my movies. She saved it all. Your first short film Home Movie and Thank You and Good Night are both dealing with family topics. Can you comment on that? It's true that my first short film Home Movie and first feature work Thank You and Good Night are similar stylistically, what you might call it personal essay films. Home Movie has me as a child, when my brother was born. He was an infant in Home Movie. And I am imitating my mother holding him. I had a doll, feeding the little doll. And then I looked at the doll and threw it across the room, and started dancing. And there was me being the cheerleader. I talked about coming out, about how I became a cheerleader so I can be with other cheerleaders. My mother wasn’t so accepting when I first came out to her, but she is trying to be a good sport. When I made Home Movie, I didn’t know about any critics. We made a flier for the film, and we need some quotes of review. So I asked my mother to give me a review. So she did, saying “Home Movie is sensitive and well-made. I think my daughter Jan is a talented filmmaker. I hope she will go on to other subjects.” That’s how you start the journey! It’s incredible all along the way, Home Movie is now regarded as one of the first feminist lesbian films. You also present the first kiss between two lesbian characters on American primetime television in Relativity (1997). How did you take the first step when there were not so many people doing that at that time. There are people who have been real pioneers doing what no one else was doing. I was able to do what I did, because I had a community. Back in the 1970s, there was a tremendous women’s community. Here I was watching Shirley MacLaine hang herself in The Children's Hour. But later I was among the community who shouted, “we are lesbian, we are queer, we are dykes!” Raising every word that has been an insult. Along with the feminist movement, that’s really the context of why I was able to do this. Even in terms of Thank You and Good Night, I was with a group of independent filmmakers in New York City who weren’t imitating the mainstream or Hollywood success possibly because it seems so far-off. And we all supported each other to do something different. Yes it did take courage to do all these things, but it really helps if you have a community around you, even if it’s just a couple of people.
專注當下，是為了好好看見 專訪《卡塔葉時光》導演潔西卡・貝希爾 採訪／陳慧穎、周易 翻譯、整理／潘芝諺、陳慧穎 《卡塔葉時光》是您的第一部紀錄長片，是什麼樣的契機促使您在家鄉衣索比亞拍攝關於卡塔葉的電影？ 我在片中所描述的小鎮長大，16歲時因政治紛亂離開家鄉。過程其實是滿粗暴的，我們被迫在幾天內遷離家園，自然而然長大後會想回過頭來梳理和釐清每件事。好不容易能回去家鄉，我想和許久未見的家人、祖母及朋友們重聚。但我一回到那裡，卻對所有變化感到訝異，有些改變剛開始並不明顯，卻在視覺上帶來不少衝擊。比方說，當我從市中心開往小鎮，目光所及全是卡塔葉，雖然卡塔葉伴隨我成長，但那景象還是令我震驚，許多景致也大大改變了。我腦中有許多疑問，這部片就是如此開始的。 我逐漸發覺卡塔葉成為單一經濟作物，同時伴隨著高失業率的問題，許多年輕人紛紛離開家鄉。當然氣候變遷也是其中因素之一，舉例來說，許多農夫不再像過去仰賴咖啡栽培，咖啡曾經是當地最大宗的重要作物之一，現在多半轉而種植較好照顧、一年可四穫的卡塔葉。 我其實感受到一種深層的渴望，想與家鄉、土地、人們重新連結。時間就像是一個巨型吸塵器，把時間抽走，我想要試圖彌補這一塊。 台灣也有種植屬於經濟作物的檳榔，看到您的作品圍繞著卡塔葉十分有趣。能否請您大致說明卡塔葉在人們日常生活中所扮演的角色？ 的確，這跟人類與神聖植物淵遠流長的關係有關。伊斯蘭蘇菲教派藉由咀嚼卡塔葉來幫助冥想，好進行長時間的禱告，這是這個植物長久以來的功用，但這樣的功用有明顯的地域限制，僅限於實行伊斯蘭教的區域。直到後來才逐漸成為我們文化、甚至可說是大眾文化的一部分。不論男女及年齡，連小孩都會咀嚼，對許多年輕人來說這是一種打發時間的方式，因為時間承載了許多挫敗感。 咀嚼卡塔葉會經歷不同的階段。最初階段稱為「harara」，會感受到一種想要嚼食的強烈渴望，所以近午時分大家都會聚集在市場買卡塔葉。到了約下午一點鐘，大家會回到室內、家中或是和人們聚在一起，一同嚼食。在一種亢奮狀態下，咀嚼卡塔葉成為一種深具社交性質的事情，大家會聚在一起談論政治、宗教、愛情……，什麼都談。但到了下午四點，你會發現街道進入一片死寂，因為亢奮結束後會進入內省狀態，稱作「merkana」，如同進入做清醒夢的狀態一樣，讓你得以暫時從時間的主中解脫。 在您的電影中，不同的片段如同夢境一般排列和呈現，也如同一段旅程。細膩美麗的鏡頭中流露出輕盈感，但又逐漸感受到片中角色內心世界的沉重。能否請您簡述您是如何在視覺及形式上思考這部作品的構成？ 我建構這部影片的方式，主要受到蘇菲主義的思考模式影響，特別是觀看的方式。關於為了真正「看見」而關注當下。我們總是在為未來做規劃、做打算，或總是在回憶過去，但真正困難的是活在當下，所以蘇菲主義的冥想強調為了「看見」而淨空自我，放下自我才能感知當下的一切。於我而言，拍攝就是捕捉那種當下的方式。這部片的架構也與卡塔葉對我們產生的影響相呼應，那種將人們從時間中釋放出來的狀態，讓人們能專注在當刻，從「總是在任何時空中但偏偏不在當下」的傾向中釋放出來。我花了許多心力在經營那種感受經驗。 這關乎找尋人們在屬於他們的空間及環境中的樣貌，看見他們之間的關係，舉例來說：光與影的關係、恐懼和恐懼反面之間的交涉⋯⋯。恐懼使人麻木，那該如何面對自己的恐懼？這和生命之間的關係又是什麼？這些都是我思考許久的核心命題。 同時，我也希望這部片是開放的。舉例來說，男孩從迷霧中走出的開場，以及男孩試圖搭便車的結尾，他究竟是要留下、還是離開，我們無從得知。那些畫面都真實反映出你所能感知到的一種不確定性。衣索比亞現在正在經歷一場內戰，但即便在我拍攝這部片的那段期間，那種不確定性都是很明確的，你不知道之後實際會發生什麼事，但有一種暗潮洶湧的感覺。我並不想要給予這部電影一個完美的結局，拍攝這部作品，也代表對生命中所發生的一切保持開放的心態。 您花費了十年拍攝這部片，身為這部作品的導演、編劇、製作人及攝影，想請問您在過程中經歷最大的挑戰是什麼？最有所獲的，又是什麼？ 這部片教導我許多，關於生命、耐心和自立。我當時決定勇往直前，但要能夠擁有隨心所欲的自由，同時意味你得全心全意投入，特別是資金方面，那十分地艱難。並且，你得面對不斷的來來回回、充滿各種懷疑和恐懼的躊躇時刻，但最終重要的仍舊是：什麼才是你最在乎的，遵循你的直覺。如果當時我沒有放手一搏，那絕對會是很大的遺憾。 我想特別一提，這部片能夠用奧羅莫語拍攝對我來說十分重要。奧羅莫語是我祖母的母語，但是我和父母在家並不會使用這個語言，這也和奧羅莫人經歷的迫害有關，從很早之前到1974（塞拉西皇帝皇帝統治時期），再到1991（德爾格軍事政權領袖被推翻），這個語言都是持續被禁的。從歷史觀點看，奧羅莫人是衣索比亞最大的原住民族，但他們遭受壓迫及被邊緣化。因此，將奧羅莫語放置在這部片十分核心的位置，對我而言深具意義。除了奧羅莫語之外，哈勒爾語也被包含在內，這兩種語言都是我從小熟悉的。在時間的催化下，片中所有的細節都有了更深遠的意義，這十年拍下來無疑是經歷脫胎換骨的轉變。 我之所以能拍攝完成這部片，都是回歸到與人們的日常相處。親近感是由信任而生，大多數人認識我的父親，自然而然地也認識我。因此回到我的出身地，也是尋找我的根源、我父母的根源。我年復一年回去，並非一次性的返家之旅。我家鄉的人是支持、啟發我拍攝這部片的原動力，是大家共同的努力造就了那種緊密感，使我真實地感到自在。拍攝過程充滿樂趣，特別是在工廠拍攝的時候，我們玩得很開心。 Truly in the Present in order to See Interview with Jessica Beshir, director of Faya Dayi Faya Dayi is your first feature documentary, what drove you to make a film on khat in your home country Ethiopia? I grew up in the same town in the film, and had to leave at 16 years old due to the political turmoil. It’s a violent uprooting in a way, we had to leave in a couple of days, so naturally I want to make sense out of everything. When I was able to go back, I wanted to reconnect with my family, grandmother and friends who I haven’t seen for such a long time. Once I was there, I was shocked by all the changes. Some of the changes are not apparent at the beginning, but are visually manifested. When I drove to the town from the main city, all I saw was khat. I grew up with khat around me, but it’s visually shocking. The landscape has drastically changed. I had so many questions in mind, and that’s how I started. I slowly learned that khat has become a single crop economy and there was a huge problem of unemployment. A lot of youth were leaving across the borders. Climate change was also a factor. The famers were no longer relied on the cultivation of coffee for example, which used to be the most important crop in the area. A lot of the farmers turned to the cultivation of khat, which can be harvested four times a year, with a lot less maintenance. I also feel the urge to reconnect with the nation, the land and the people. The sense of time has felt like a huge vacuum and somehow I wanted to recover that. Taiwan also has betel nuts, which has become an economic crop, so it’s interesting to see how your film revolves around khat. Can you give us a little bit of background on how Khat manifests in people’s everyday life? Yes it really has something to do with human relationship with the sacred plants around the world. Sufi muslins chewed khat to help them meditate and pray for longer periods. That’s how this plant was used for a long time, but the practice tended to be limited to predominantly Muslim areas. Up until later, it started to become part of the culture, even a mainstream thing. Women, men, elderly and even children are chewing. For a lot of the youth, it’s a way to “kill time.” Because time is what holds an incredible amount of frustration. What happens when you chew is that it has different stages. The first stage is “harara,” the time for having the craving, so around noon everyone is at the market trying to get their khat. Around 1pm, everyone gets inside their houses or gathers with people chewing. Entering the euphoric states, it’s really a social gathering thing. People talk about politics, religion, love and everything. But around 4 pm, it’s like dead silence. As euphoric states pass, people tend to turn to introspection, that is “merkana.” It’s like entering a lucid dream. It’s also a time to liberate yourself from the tyranny of time. In your film, different segments are connected and arranged like a dream sequence. It’s also like a journey. It’s so beautifully shot that it makes you feel a sense of lightness, but again you also feel a sense of heaviness that ties to the characters’ inner world. Can you elaborate on the way you form your visual and experiment in forms? The way I construct my film is really under the influence of Sufi way of thinking, especially the way of seeing. About how to be in the present moment in order to see. We are often either planning the future or thinking about the past. Truly in the present is a difficult thing to do. So the Sufi meditation stresses on emptying themselves in order to see. Empty your ego in order to see what’s in the present. For me, filming is to capture that sense of present. The construction of film also echoes back to the effect of khat on us. The effect of releasing yourself from time, and of releasing from the tendency of being everywhere but not here at the present moment. I have put a lot of energy into the making of that experience. It's about finding people in their own spaces and environment, to see their relationship, for example the negotiation of the lights and shadows, the negotiation between fear and what’s the opposite of fear. Fear is a paralyzing force, so how do you confront your fear? And what’s its relationship to life? These are the essential things I have been thinking a lot about. I also want the film to be quite open. For example, the opening of a boy coming out of the fog or a boy trying to get a ride in the final scenes. You don’t know whether he is staying or going. That truly speaks to the uncertainty being felt. Ethiopia has this civil war going on right now, but even back to the time when I was filming, you can sense this uncertainty, you don’t know what’s gonna happen, just feeling there are a lot of things moving underneath. I don’t want to tie a nice ribbon to end the film. To shoot this film is to be open to what life is going to bring. It takes ten years of making. You are the director, writer, producer and cinematographer of this film, what's the biggest challenge along the way? And what’s the biggest rewards? This film taught me so much about life, about patience, about self-reliance. I just decided to go for it. The freedom of doing what I want to do also comes with a huge commitment. Especially financially speaking, it’s very difficult. And it’s a constant back and forth, with lots of doubts and fears, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what you really care about. Follow your intuition. It would be a huge regret if I didn’t go for it. It’s also very important for me to make this film in Oromo language. Oromo language is my grandmother’s language. But my parents and I don’t speak that at home. It also has to do with the Oromo struggle, as the language has been largely banned till 1974 (Under the dictatorship of Haile Selassie), and then all the way to 1991(when the military Derg regime was overthrown by rebel forces). Historically the Oromo people are the largest indigenous ethnic group in Ethiopia, but they have been marginalized and suffered a lot. So having this language at the center of this film is very important for me. In addition to Oromo language, Harari language is also included. These are the languages that I grew up listening to. With time, all these details in film acquire more profound meaning. It’s definitely transformational during this ten year span of making this film. What allows me to make this film is truly to spend time with people. Intimacy grew out of trust. A lot of them knew my father, naturally knew about me. So a lot of time it’s like being where I was coming from, it has something to do with my parents’ roots. I come back year after year, so it’s never like a one-time deal. The community really supports and inspires me to make this film. It’s communal efforts that achieve this sense of closeness. Feeling truly comfortable. Actually I had great fun filming, especially in the factory. It was such a fun time.