Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 27, the Austin Asian American Film Festival will be co-presenting a screening with the Austin Film Society of the critically acclaimed hybrid documentary Your Day is My Night.
Named by Tom Brook of BBC as one of eight films to watch out for in 2014, the documentary follows the immigrant residents of a “shift-bed” apartment in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown. They share their stories, personal and political, which reveal the collective history of the Chinese in the United States. Shot in the kitchens, bedrooms, wedding halls, cafés, and mahjong parlors of Chinatown, Your Day is My Night addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life.
The screening will take place at the AFS Screening Room (1901 E 51st St.) and tickets cost $8 for general admission and $5 for AFS members and students with valid IDs. The film will begin at 7:30pm, so get there early!
Here’s what director Lynne Sachs has to say about the film,
“Since January of 2011, I have been writing, researching, and shooting material for my ‘bed project’ in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City. I found a group of non-professional Chinese performer/participants (ages 58 – 78) and worked almost weekly with them over a period of a year and a half. During our workshops, they each exchanged their own stories around domestic life, immigration and personal-political upheaval. None of these people has ever worked in this cross-cultural way, so it is these taped process-oriented conversations that, in the final film, enhance our audience’s sense of the bed – experienced and imagined from profoundly different viewpoints. Next, a written script emerged from our months of shooting documentary images and interviews. Using the interactive model of Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed”, I guided my collective in a “simultaneous dramaturgy”. My performers, crew and, more recently, our live audience, explored the potential for transformation that can come from a dialogue around personal histories and the imagination.
“The material I collected during these interviews is the basis for the monologues in YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT. In production, I guided my performers through visual scenarios that reveal a bed as a stage on which people manifest who they are at home and who they are in the world. Our shooting took place in two different actual shift-bed apartments located in NYC’s Chinatown. The Chinese participants (several of whom currently live or have actually slept on shift-beds) spoke of family ruptures during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a mattress excavated from a garbage heap, four men on one bed in Chinatown, amongst a long series of fascinating and haunting bed-related topics.”
Check out the trailer below and come out to see one of the most “mysterious and magical evocations” of the migrant New York City in many a year. For more details you can check out the AFS site.