Concorso Cineasti del presente

People’s Park

<em>People’s Park</em> – J.P. Sniadecki, Libbie Dina Cohn
People’s Park – J.P. Sniadecki, Libbie Dina Cohn

July 30, 2011, a humid Saturday afternoon in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, as local residents of all ages freed from their weekly commitments escape surely cramped living and working spaces to congregate in a “people’s park,” a public space where everything is a performance, beginning and ending (like the best of films) with sensational dance numbers, while further bustle and artistic self-presentations – karaoke songs, full bands, more dancing (!), water calligraphy that evaporates seconds after its committed to the hot pavement – coexist a short stroll away, captured by a digital camera that steadily snakes its way through the sycamores, panning past park benches with elderly people passed out, families eating together in restaurants under the clank-clank of metal chopsticks, behind the lens an unflinching Western sensory anthropological gaze (courtesy of Libbie D. Cohn and J.P. Sniadecki, co-winner of Locarno’s Opera Prima in 2010 with Foreign Parts) that stares at the locals deep into their faces, and the people stare back, occasionally acknowledging the camera’s presence with a broad smile and a wave, but most of the time looking at the foreign object as if it was a welcome intruder watching as they express themselves almost ceremonially and watch others do the same, this camera whose images are from time to time dominated by an intricate and lively, buzzing soundtrack, as this is more than just a walk in the park, it is life, in an unbroken 78 minutes.

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