The 24th SIWFF hosts a special exhibition called Restored: Blind Spot(s) in Film Archives, which collects recent important restored films by female directors, following the restoration and screening of Take Care of My Cat (2001) at the 23rd edition. The most welcome restoration is director Boo Jiyoung’s Sisters on the Road. Colors that shape contrasting characters, landscapes, and lights on the road were remastered and clearly approach the audience. Let us pay attention to the “new” films to most audiences, Sambizanga, Suzanne, Suzanne, and Girl’s School. Restored by the Film Foundation established by Martin Scorsese and Cineteca di Bologna in Italy, Sambizanga was the first African feature directed by a woman. This film is both a revolutionary film and one that deconstructs the center of a revolution movement narrative from a gender perspective. Suzanne, Suzanne is the first episode of a family documentary series by Camille Billops and James V. Hatch. Billops is one of the pioneers of Black American films. The film was remastered in 4K with the support of the National Film Preservation Board. Girl’s School is one episode of the so-called Urban Women Trilogy by director Lee Mimi, restored by the National Film and Audiovisual Culture Center in Taiwan. Olivia, which focuses on tension, emotion, and relationships at a girls’ school, was also digitally remastered to be screened.
Song of Arirang-Voices from Okinawa is a 1982 film directed by Park Soonam, a Korean resident in Japan. It is a new version that foregrounds Korean witnesses whose voices were hidden in Japanese dubbing, since the sound work was redone from the edition collected and remastered by the Korea Film Archive in 2020. Japanese actor and director Tanaka Kinuyo’s directorial debut film Love Letter will also be shown to the audienc,e again in a 4K digital version remastered from a previous 16mm print. Still called a landmark of queer romance in the 1990s by many, The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love was restored by the Sundance Institute 25 years after it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia last year, Floating Life is a film directed by Clara Law, a second-generation director of the Hong Kong New Wave. She produced this film after she moved to Australia, and it became a representative film about the Asian diaspora. The film Blind Spot, which this section quotes the title from, is the representative film of Claudia von Alemann and was restored with the support of Deutsche Kinemathek. A young German historian, Elisabeth records a socialist-feminist Flora Tristan’s “footsteps,” but male historians do not understand how these recordings relate to history or the blind spots of history. Like Elisabeth’s efforts, the 24th SIWFF proposes to imagine a new way of organizing film history from women’s perspectives by asking questions about how film history is structured, how canons are created, and how blind spots between them are recognized in this section of Restored: Blind Spot(s) in Film Archives. [Programmer HWANG Miyojo]
Claudia VON ALEMANN
Camille BILLOPS, James V. HATCH