My experience @ Full Frame 2019

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2019 Full Frame Festival and watch internationally-acclaimed documentaries. It was a journey of emotion and compassion. I watched movies ranging from being isolated in a compound in Burkina Faso to life in the middle of Brazil’s financial crisis. From watching these films, I realized that every sound, every film reel, and every angle mattered. The manipulation of sound attracted me as “The Ambassador’s Wife” had distinct rustic sounds that annoyed me but also begged me to pay attention. There was chaos all around; she was not able to do things herself, and she couldn’t be alone. Even if she was alone, the sound of the constant construction surrounding the compound enveloped around her ears.
The manipulation of colors and angles attracted me to Ressaca, a film focusing on the lives suffering at the hands of the destabilizing Brazilian economy and its corrupt government. Every shot filmed in black and white; it felt intimate as it almost felt invasive. I was able to see Marcia’s tears painted black from her mascara, crying and struggling to say goodbye to the theater who couldn’t continue to afford to pay her as a prima ballerina. I was able to see Filippe, struggling to keep his family becoming impoverished while juggling between ballet and driving an Uber to make ends meet when the government couldn’t help. I was able to see Joao, a nice old man who lived in the poor conditions of Brazil’s favelas. I could see every detail of the rundown buildings and the amount of burden on Joao’s shoulders as he took care of his grandchildren in the most drastic conditions. Every person made me realize that there are many stories like this, censored and oppressed. Ressaca’s filmmakers were able to make their characters, real people’s stories, so beautiful despite the characters’ the pain and suffering their government has brought upon them.
From this experience, my heart is heavy, and it is hopeful. The genre of the documentary film showed me how detached I am from the world, but also how I can make it better. From Burkina Faso to Brazil, I found myself having a global perspective, an open mind to the harsh realities people are facing, and the needs they are deprived of in their lives. If you want to broaden your knowledge of the world and go on this rollercoaster of emotions as I did, I recommend you to go next year’s Full Frame Festival!

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