Life without borders
World Movies Framed My Youth
Earning international citizenship through the art of film — a personal story
Our journey is our story. The beginning is a place we want to leave. The end is a place we want to go. The suspense is how we travel the distance in between. — writes WIBI.io founder Akasha Rose Indream
When I was a kid, I had a pretty liberal upbringing. My parents were so busy they let the TV bring me up. But it wasn’t your usual kind of TV.
My father dropped out of school, only to go back and do Medicine. At Med school, he was known as the winer, and diner — and the womanizer. He went everywhere with a cigarette in his mouth and a guitar in his hands. There are photos to prove it.
I guess my parents figured that whatever I did couldn’t be as bad as that. I was left to do whatever I wanted as a teenager, so long as I kept getting good school marks.
They’d take me to the video rental store, but I would walk straight past the new releases, straight past the Hollywood comedy and drama, and on to the World Movie display.
I’d carry home a bundle of 10 or 20 movies, depending on what deals were on, and I’d watch a few a day. When I wasn’t renting movies, I was watching the national multicultural broadcaster SBS.
This was back when we only had VCRs to record, and I would scour each week’s Thursday green TV section in the Age newspaper for its World Movie recommendations, and also watch anything that Margaret and David recommended on The Movie Show with a four star and above rating — particularly from David, as he was a lot harder to get a four star rating out of than Margaret.
On school holidays, I’d travel in my trench coat by train to the local city, and drag a confused and reluctant friend to see yet another subtitled film. No one else would come.
There was a little cinema in Melbourne called the Lumiere that had only 30 or so seats, you were up so close to the screen you could see pores in the skin. I once took her to In the Real of the Senses — I wasn’t a very good friend to her: she used to faint at the site of blood. What was I thinking?
But by the time I did that, I’d watched hundreds of world movies, in dozens of languages. My mum knew that I loved it so much that she would take me out of school Wednesday afternoons early, and she’d take the afternoon off work so we could go to the movies together.
The largest cinema complex in the Southern Hemisphere had just opened near us, and they even had a little theatre they devoted to obscure world movies. I viewed Burnt By the Sun with her in 1994 — when I was only in my mid teens. We watched together as the father taken away for the last time and beaten in the black car whilst his little girl waved.
By the time I graduated school, I didn’t really feel part of just one culture. I had the parts of many cultures inside of me. The idea of only belonging just to one culture was alien to me. To the extent that the culture I’m part of requires me to identify only with that, I didn’t belong in it.
I think that is why I became so attracted to blockchain. It doesn’t matter what country you are from with blockchain. You can transact with anyone around the world, with no need to convert your currency. Blockchain lets you be a world citizen, and transact with global brothers and sisters as equals.
What I learnt from these movies was to empathise with people wherever they live, whatever culture or background they came from. I learnt to empathise with their suffering, with their aspirations, with their struggles, their determination, their triumphs and dreams.
All these films had something in common — German war film, Russian thriller, Latin romance, Japanese horror, Hong Kong comedy, Indian tragedy or yet another French menage a trois. What they had in common is that their characters were all on a journey .
Our journey is our story. The beginning is a place we want to leave. The end is a place we want to go. The suspense is how we travel the distance in between.
You, looking through the screen at my story, or I, looking through the screen at yours, can clearly see the detail that the other is missing. We can see what the story foreshadows by the way it is being lived.
In this moment when it feels like the world feels is spinning it’s wheels — we want to stop ecological destruction and we can’t; we want to stop human trafficking and slavery, and we can’t; we want families to be free of poverty and domestic violence and we can’t — we can have faith the story still continues.
We just aren’t at the end yet. The story continues…