I watched the films Two weddings and a funeral, Land of Eb, Eden and The Thieves. I chose Two weddings and a funeral because I wanted to see how the Korean film makers would present homosexuality. I wanted to see Land of Eb to learn more about the Marshallese people. The reason I chose to see Eden was because it was about an important issue – human trafficking. I saw The Thieves because it was so popular, and because it looked like a tension-filled action film that would be a great ending to my festival experience.
I also went to the New Media Academy seminar. It was interesting to learn more about how the new media is developing, and how it is becoming more democratized through low costs and the ability for everyone to participate through channels such as YouTube.
For me, the highlight of the film festival was the closing night and the screening of The Thieves. There were a lot of people and a good atmosphere. I enjoyed watching The Thieves. It was a good action film in real Oceans Eleven-style.
I am really pleased that we got to participate in HIFF, because it’s a real time event, so we get to practice on writing for new media, through publishing texts, making films and posting tweets. For me as a film enthusiast it was also great to watch so many good films. I only wished I had time to watch more!
Land of Eb was one of the films that influenced me. I have not seen much of the situation in the Marshallese’s communities, so it was interesting to learn more about them, and I feel that I saw a different side of Hawaii. I was also very touched by the main character that put all his strength into making his children and grand-children getting a better life than he had. Using non-pros from the community to play the characters made the film authentic and strong.
Eden also made a big impression. It still hurt in my chest when I think about it. It portrays a terrible side of society, and the fact that it’s based on a real story, makes it even worse.
A film that I was less pleased with was Two weddings and a funeral, which gave a very stereotyped picture of gay people.
I learned about different cultures represented at HIFF. I learned about how Marshallese people value sharing with family and friends and caring consideration for others. I also learned about how homosexuality can be portrayed in different cultures.
I would recommend HIFF to my film interested friends and family, because you can see so many exciting and different films, and the festival represents many different cultures.