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BISFF Correspondence 通信计划|Vol.3 Tania Podveikina

BISFF Correspondence 通信计划

为了跨越种种障碍,开辟更多交流空间,我们设置了“BISFF Correspondence 通信计划”,对部分国际单元的参展作者进行系列访谈,这些访谈将在作品放映后发布在联展各个媒体平台。

Asphalt und Gras|Asphalt and grass|柏油路与青草地

Tania Podveikina, Fabian Ripke


World Premiere

Q & A

Director导演:Tania Podveikina


Q:You choose three homeless women as protagonists in this short film, why women?


A:I chose women on purpose. There are a lot of homeless men on the streets, many more than women. Physically women are more vulnerable than men and in a way they have to be tougher, stronger to protect themselves on the streets, also from men’s action.

I was observing homeless women for a long long time, how they deal with their situation. A lot of them have grown-up kids. Many women are going into insanity to survive, many drop into alcohol and drug addiction to numb the pain and misery; some of them join the group of homeless people but then they have to fit the dynamic of the group and follow the rules set by men mainly; some of the women stay by themselves and keep their mind and soul clear to keep on living safely.



Q:We can only see the women’s backs but not their faces, why? They didn’t want to be on camera or you did that on purpose?


A:There are a few reasons why we approached the shooting this way. Initially we wanted to respect their privacy and situation. They indeed appreciated that we didn’t shoot them in the face because they didn’t want to flash their faces and in order not to be bullied by other homeless people, in case seen or recognised. At the same time, I wanted to show the life circumstances keeping the camera observational, in a distance, just like people look at homeless people while passing them by on the street. On the audio level I wanted to be very personal, letting these women show who they are truly inside, giving them a chance to share their feelings, thoughts, struggles, memories. Anonymity gave them freedom to be open and fully let themselves out. We shot two women on their normal day and one woman only made the interview. She was willing to take part in the film and share her story but she was not comfortable with herself in the camera. She really tried and gave a meeting point a few times but never showed up because she had panic attacks. We took the situation with compassion and full acceptance. The visual part of the third woman is inspired by her interview.

By keeping anonymity of the protagonists and distance, served another purpose of this film which was to show a human being, it didn't matter whether it was a woman or a man, homeless person or someone who lived a comfortable life under the roof. We are all humans in whatever circumstances we are and we deserve respect and recognition. We are all beautiful, we all fall down and become ugly at times. Some people manage to hold on within the frameworks of the society rules, some people don’t. We all used to be babies, kids, teenagers, grownups; we all have family stories; we all go through health issues; we all feel love, fear, happiness, anger; we all have our heart beating and soul alive.



Q:Why did you use a method similar to DV shooting?


A:Actually, we used two cameras:an old defect Sony MiniDV and Sony Video8 from the 90s. It was not a post-production effect but a conscious choice of the cameras for this film. It felt natural using these cameras to reflect and to emphasize the imperfection of our life. Nothing is perfect in life and this is the fact of nature, something we all should accept.


Q:The three women live in the street, forest and playground respectively. What are the similarities and differences between them?


A:Very interesting question! The similarity between the three of them is that they didn’t give up on themselves, whatever they went through and whatever they are going through now. All three of them found strength to rediscover their “spine” and hold on to it. They are very strong personalities which love living, and this love didn’t allow them to disappear into the oblivion.All three of them are at peace with themselves and feel indestructible within themselves.

Differences... all three women went through different experiences in their childhood, in their grownup lives and they coped with the situations in a very different way. They became homeless because of very different reasons. The first woman got into a prison because of her recklessness and lost the connection to her four kids and her husband. After seven years in prison she was totally broken inside and couldn't even try to come back into the family. She was totally eaten by anger, pain and hopelessness. The second woman lost her job, couldn’t pay the flat, didn’t get support from the state and she didn’t want to become a burden for her family. For the third woman, after her childhood experiences, it was almost normal to slide onto the street and be homeless periodically.



Q:It seems that there is no connection between the title “Asphalt und Grass” and the film, why did you use the name, and what does it represent?


A:Asphalt and grass are the metaphors for homeless people's life:hard and soft, cold and warm, dead and alive. Every day it is unpredictable whether they hit the asphalt or the grass. In the end I believe asphalt and grass are metaphors for any human being life… Life is unpredictable.


Q:Why did you shoot many trees, flowers and animals?


A:While spending quite some time with each woman it was obvious for us that they were very connected to nature and to animals. They see the beauty and find shelter in nature, although it can be as merciless, but it is easier to accept rather than human action towards another human. They are deeply rooted with nature and wild animals inside the city. I guess we simply followed the flow of the women and showed their flow through the shots of nature.



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