videos+films installations events articles resume distribution contact blog
  print   back

5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown
10 minutes, 2009

You live somewhere, walk down the same street 50, 100, 10,000 times, each time taking in fragments, but never fully registering THE PLACE. Years, decades go by and you continue, unseeing, possibly unseen.

A building comes down, and before the next one is up you ask yourself 'what used to be there?' You are only vaguely aware of the district's shifting patterns and the sense that, since the 19th century, wave after wave of inhabitants have moved through and transformed these alleyways, tenements, stoops and shops.

10 square blocks, past, present, future, time, light, movement, immigration, exclusion, gentrification, racism, history, China, America, 3 languages, 13 voices, 152 years, 17,820 frames, 9 minutes, 54 seconds, 9 questions, 5 lessons, Chinatown

a film by
Shelly Silver

produced by
Karin Chien

voiceover by
Lu Yu, Wai Ching Ho, Johnson Chong

commissioned by
MoCA/The Museum of Chinese in America
for The Chinatown Film Project

Teri Chan, Nina Lam

Jeremy Chien, Lu Yu

sound mix
Ian Stynes, Great City Productions

color correction
John Vladic, Deluxe New York

Tim Bell, Ed Bowes, Nancy Bulalacao, Cheng Hong Chen,
KK Chen, Choi Ping Chin, Deanna Cao, Cassandra Guan,
Charles Lai, Baayork Lee, Yue Ma, Marc Silver, Ann Sun,
Wendy Tong, Jenny Tran, Doreen Wang, Sam Whitsitt
NY Chinatown Senior Citizen Coalition Center

archival material
The National Archives
Museum of Chinese in America

Dialogpreis, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Media Arts Festival/EMAF
Prix Videoformes Ville de Clermont-Ferrand, VideoFormes
Best Experimental Video, Dallas VideoFest

Selected Screenings
Berlin International Film Festival Shorts Competition
Norweigian Short Film Festival
Parnu International Film Festival
Sarajevo Film Festival
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
Kunstfilmtag, Duesseldorf
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown website

5 lessons at the Berlin Film Festival

the Museum of Chinese in America Chinatown Film Project

page top