Sunday, November 16, 2008

NW Film Festival-On Paper Wings

On November 10, 2008 I went to the NW Film Festival to watch two movies, “Water Paper Time” and “On Paper Wings”. I guess I had a stigma of what independent films were all about. I mean I have seen a few where I have really enjoyed them but they were ones that my friends have watched that I ended up liking too. But to stumble on two that I really enjoyed gave me great thrill when watching them and thinking about them.
“Water Paper Time” was one that wasn’t my favorite but at the same time, I was not catching any “Z’s” during the movie either. It showed a woman who hand made her own paper. I never really thought about this as being art. In the beginning it seemed like it was a PBS special. But then I started to really study how the Filmmaker was showing how simplistic and complex paper really is. Paper has a way of being very strong and weak at the same time. The point where I noticed this was when the paper was floating down a creek and it never really collapsed. I thought when paper hit the water it would kind of just denigrated. This film was a good interlude to the next movie.
The main attraction “On Paper Wings” was a great movie. That is as simple as I can put it. It was just a fantastic film. This is a true story from WWII, about the balloon bombs, which only a few people have heard about, that went from Japan to Bly, Oregon; they detonated and killed 6 people. They traveled through the Jet Stream releasing sand bags from the base of the balloon when it released too much air when it expanded. The most amazing part about these balloons was that they were made of paper. So when the bombs were supposed to detonate they wouldn’t leave behind any evidence. All of them didn’t detonate so they left behind clues from where they came from.
The most amazing part was the series of events that happened because of this. The women, who made these balloons when they were small children, grew up and found out from a gentleman who was in the internment camp that was 30 miles south of Bly. This gentleman didn’t hear about the balloons for almost 40 years when he knew about it he informed the women from Japan. When the women who made these balloons found out about the people’s identities from Bly, they felt that they needed to do something to show peace and sorrow for what they did. They made 1000 cranes made in origami to signify peace. The women from Japan ended up bringing it to them in Bly and it changed both of their lives.
When I chose this movie it just seemed to work with my schedule more than anything else. I decided to ask my friend Alison who is half Japanese and trying to understand her culture much more, to come with me. She and I didn’t know the impact that it would have on us. For her, she got to see what had happened to just a few people and how much this war impacted their lives. Alison ended up buying the movie. Now she wants to buy a few more for her friends and family. For me, it showed that no matter how long something happened, there is still a time that needs to heal, and that history is so scary especially if you forget about it. So for now to signify peace and history I will remember 1000 paper cranes, and honor that.
What kind of strange events will occur from this war that is going on? And will it be up on Youtube faster than this movie?
Sophia Stalliviere

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