MIFF: An Opportunity to touch the alternative films

To most people, films are a way of entertainment to relax and have popcorn in the cinema after  whole day’s work or study. So when I consider film festival, only celebrities and red carpet come to my mind. Because in China, people draw little attention to film festival and most of them think it is not a common activity and ceremony for normal people. When film festival becomes a headline on social media like Weibo, it usually relates to the red carpet of three European Film Festivals like Cannes Film Festival as Bingbing Fan(a Chinese actress) often shows up on the red carpet no matter with a film team or not. This kind of action make the public believe that film festival is an award ceremony where anyone can be invited. Therefore, when I planned to join the local festival ‘Melbourne International Film Festival’, I researched beforehand on its website and understood there were several films would to be played from 3, August to 23, August. Some of them are documentaries and the rest are independent films and literary films which are not the best choice compared to commercial movies when people decide to watch at usual time.

‘Undermined: Tales from the Kimberly’ is what I chose this time to watch. ‘Undermined: Tales from the Kimberly’ is a documentary about what threaten people in Kimberley regions and how they protest to government. Before the start of the film, Albert Wiggan (activist, musician from Kimberley ) performed two songs in front of audiences. This was what I did not expect and I was totally impressed by his performance. And I really prepared myself already for the documentary. Although this film was 100 percent Australian story, with the funny interview with aboriginal residents, I could easily put myself into the film and understand what was going on on that land. like when gatekeepers to choose which product should be showed to the public, they consider many aspects such as field, capital and habitus. ‘Undermined: Tales from the Kimberly’ is definitely a film of small scale which devotes to achieving some political goals to an extent.

What makes Melbourne International Film Festival mange well is that few popular films have two chances to be displayed like ‘Burning’, ‘An Elephant Sitting Still’. That action gives opportunity to who miss the ticket and the asian films also attract many audiences who are away from their hometown to feel homelike and get rid of homesick by sharing story in their own cultural background. Meanwhile, film festival has something different to what people usually do in cinema. Besides single ticket for each film, audiences can buy a pass ticket to select any 10 standard sessions after dicing what films they prefer. By  taking part in the film festival, audiences could communicate with others like with the same language except different cultures and backgrounds and embrace each others’ souls. Film festival does give opportunity to the public to get in touch with alternative films especially documentaries and reflect themselves.

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