Dear CAFAM members,
Now that the 4th of July celebrations are over, why not take a look at these two film entries up at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville, July 11-20 at the Waterville Opera House.
“We often say that truth is hidden from us. But I believe that when we fail to see, it is because we are unable to observe, or unwilling to look. We are the victim and the accomplice at the same time”—Trap Street director Vivian Qu. Trap Street’s protagonist Li Qiuming is a naïve survey engineer in very contemporary China who “views the world through his gadgets: cell phone, GPS watch, video games. Qiuming’s happy-go-lucky life—he lives in a bachelor pad with like-minded bros, visiting his old-fashioned parents when he has the time—takes a turn when he spots comely Guan Lifen through the lens of his surveyor’s equipment. She works in a plain building on a shadowy lane that stymies the map crew by not yielding any data—it’s a ‘trap street,’ per the lingo of Qiumung’s mapmaking coworker, who shrugs it off: ‘Some places just won’t register in the system.’ To Qiumung’s delight, Lifen agrees to go out with him, and he’s soon so smitten he doesn’t realize there’s another trap of sorts down that mysterious alley.
Saturday, July 12, 3:30 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema 1
Wednesday, July 16, 3:30 p.m., Waterville Opera House
Your Day is My Night
In this provocative hybrid documentary, shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafés, and mahjong parlors of New York City’s Chinatown, immigrant residents of a “shift-bed” apartment share their stories of personal and political upheaval. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals the collective history of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Yun Xiu Huang evokes his journey to the U.S. through the complicated economy of the “snakehead” system, facing an uphill battle as he starts over in a new city. The intimate cinematography and immersive sound design carry us into the dreams and memories of the performers, bringing the audience into a community often considered closed off to non-Mandarin speakers.
Monday, July 14, 6:00 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema 3
Wednesday, July 16, 9:30 p.m., Waterville Opera House