Americans tend to focus completely on what’s happening here and often overlook other countries that are struggling to catch up to the technological lifestyle we live every day. Filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke brings attention to this issue by focusing on a disaster in China that remains unsolved.
Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder, continues its “This I Believe” film series with Zhang-ke’s touching fictional interpretation, “Still Life.”
Construction of the Three Gorges Dam along the Yangtze River has flooded parts of Central China, and demands for generating electric power have displaced more than a million people. Zhang-ke, who was named one of the most gifted filmmakers of our time by The New York Times, illustrates this moment in history by focusing on those forced to relocate.
Chinese cities inhabited for more than 2,000 years were left in ruins by the flooding, some communities literally left under water. In Zhang-ke’s film, he introduces a nurse and a miner who both attempt to salvage anything left behind while accepting the fate of what’s gone forever.
OCU Film Institute director Harbour Winn said the film is not only informative, but helps audiences feel the emotion associated with this disastrous event.
“With a film like ‘Still Life,’ I get a sense that I could never feel by just reading a newspaper article,” he said.
This year’s “This I Believe” theme is inspired from the popular series formerly broadcasted by National Public Radio, as well as essays by iconic American broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and other extraordinary writers.
Zhang-ke’s film strives to continue Murrow’s concept of contemporary expression that will help Oklahomans open their eyes to the problems other countries face.
The “This I Believe” series extends through March 7, 2010. “Still Life” screens 2 p.m. Sunday in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in OCU’s Meinders School of Business. A discussion will follow the film. Admission is free. For more information, call 208-5472. “Paige Lawler