The art of regret
In China photography is sometimes known as ‘the art of regret’...regret for what might be and for what is lost. The film examines photographic practices in the city of Kunming and explores the ambivalence people feel about whether photography should be employed as a medium of documentation and evidence or whether to use new technology to make it one of fantasy and empowerment. Digital software programs can transform anyone into a film star and make the elderly look young again, but in such a rapidly changing city there’s also a great desire to document and to preserve memory. During the Cultural Revolution many people lost family photographs. Choices about how to regard history, reality, and material culture confront everyone in contemporary China.
(2007, 59 minutes)
About the Director
Judith MacDougall has made more than a dozen documentary films on cross-cultural subjects, several of which have received major awards. She has taught ethnographic film at universities in America, Europe, China, and Australia. Currently she is a Visiting Fellow with the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University.
Filmmaker Judith MacDougall will present the film, which will be followed by a short Q&A afterwards.
This film is part of the monthly film series Asia and the Pacific Screens, sponsored by the Australian Centre on China in the World.