I got to be involved in the YIDFF special program “Okinawa—Nexus of Borders: Ryukyu Reflections” four years ago. In the end, from the vast accumulation of films dealing with Okinawa, we selected over seventy films, and they were screened at three venues during the film festival. I was immersed in film morning, noon, and night. Then, about a month later the program screened in Okinawa, along with award-winning and other selected works from New Asian Currents, from Taiwan, China, Korea, the Philippines, and elsewhere. This experiment also became an experience in layering and intertwining multiple viewpoints from Asia in Okinawa, the border between Asia and Japan. It became a true “Nexus of Borders.”
Even if “Asia” is a single word, the reality is extremely diverse. It goes without saying that it can’t all be lumped together; however, in the substance of what directors relay through film, you can expect to see something like shadows of discord, creaking, and murmurs when all of these places’ pasts and presents—meaning, the things that have gone away and those that haven’t completely—seep into one another.
Something is on a tear along the isthmuses and channels of Asia, surrounding it. This wave of transnational power washes over the interior of the continent as well as the peninsulas, and washes over the endeavors of people as well as the landscape itself, connecting archipelagoes island by island. Filmmakers give birth to the language of documentary while playing with and resisting those waves. Films of light and shadow, echoes and anger, murmurs and silence, are woven together while traversing each individual place’s present and foundations, or while crossing the border areas.
I will encounter these works head on, without any preparation. Films face the world with just their own power, and propose a unique form of conversation that lies only within. Then again, perhaps that “something” will attack us out of nowhere. Surpassing expectations, thereby shifting the paradigm of the viewers’ sight, and inviting us to the depths of life and death. From film to reality, reality to film—witnessing that interplay, encountering any number of Asias, watching film is like the wonder of experiencing the world itself. How will that power manifest itself in this year’s cross-currents?
Born in 1947, Nakazato is the editor of Edge. Probing Okinawa’s liminality and Okinawa as an edge in print and images (photographs, film), he is the author of Okinawan Beat (Border Ink) and Round Border (APO), and the co-author of Okinawa and Memory in Japanese History. Nakazato co-wrote the script for Tsuru-Henry (1998) with Takamine Go, and participated in the exhibition “Yesterdays on the Hilltop.” He served as co-coordinator of “Okinawa—Nexus of Borders: Ryukyu Reflections” at YIDFF 2003. In 2007, he published Okinawa at the Edge of Images (Miraisha) and The Question of Okinawa (Genshobo).
New Asian Currents Special Events
Talk & Screening: “Singing Queers”
Date: October 6 (Sat.) 18:45 Venue: Muse 2 [Free Admission]
In this talk and screening session featuring WOM (directors of OUT) and “Dancing & Singing Lez” SATOKIN (director and star of wrap! rap! –10cs3–), we will unravel together the mysteries of rap and lesbians, or better yet, the inseparable duo of queer films and song. Why are we singing?!
Talking about “New Docs China”
Date: October 7 (Sun.) 19:30 Venue: Muse 2 [Free Admission]
Chinese documentary today is a melting pot of creativity. “Screening activists” from China will give us a first hand account of the state of affairs. Beijing-based producer and film event organizer Zhu Rikun, film critic Zhang Yaxuan, and Yunfest organizers Guo Jing, Yang Kun, and Yi Sicheng from Yunnan will join the Chinese filmmakers attending YIDFF 2007 for a roundtable discussion.
Talk and More Talk: “Island Hopping”
Date: October 9 (Tue.) 16:30 Venue: Muse 2 [Free Admission]
Let’s talk all about islands that have a physical presence but are also infused with film, with Nakazato Isao (Okinawa, juror for New Asian Currents), Kidlat Tahimik (Philippines, juror for International Competition), and other guests!