Gina Haraszti’s artistic career developed as fast as a Polaroid with the worldwide success of Waning and the release of two new short films. On Sept. 22, film production MFA student, Haraszti, will present a public screening of her thesis work at the De Sève Cinema. Haraszti will be showing a triptych: a trilogy of short experimental films, revolving around questions provoked as a result of the loss of a loved one.
Compelled by a tragedy, she fills her characters with relatable experiences that are sure to impact all those who attend.
“This is how the world makes me feel,” says Haraszti. Each film asks “What if?”— showing the various choices the characters make as they cope with grief. Haraszti’’s style strays away from commercial blockbusters to capture those small but ephemeral moments in life.
“It’s not just about breaking the rules,” says Haraszti, “but making a better film without them.”
Haraszti’s art is constantly evolving as she bares her soul to her viewers. She has edited and re-edited her works numerous times in pursuit of perfectly capturing emotions that many would deem too complex for film.
Nominated for best short at the Toronto International Film Festival, Waning is the critical highlight of the screening. In the film, truth and memory are put to a test. The audience becomes a witness to not only a murder, but a recurring memory of a murder. Haraszti invites you to figure out the mystery, where clues are hidden in the objects and characters’ expressions.
REI, a new addition to her portfolio, tells the story of an orphan who loses touch with reality as she struggles with the loss of her parents. REI is inspired by the Japanese term Hikikomori; a phenomenon where adolescents and young adults withdraw from the world. Objects become reminders, the house an isolated bubble and the outside world a threat. The young shut-in must decide whether to gather her strength or disappear into an inner world.
Those with an appreciation for retro film will find something to enjoy in the other film, Orison, owing to the poetic atmosphere and black-and-white quality. After the death of his rabbi father, a young scientist struggles to find an answer within his father’s religious belief and his scientific knowledge. It is the classic debate between reason and faith in the face of loss.
“Why see movies? To forget about our lives and live someone else’s for a bit,” remarks Haraszti “When we go back to our life, we can change it.”
The director compares her trilogy to a fractured mirror. Although these films are connected, they reflect three different choices, none of which are right or wrong, for there is no correct process of grieving — “The answer is in the searching.”
“A good film is a Polaroid of a state of mind,” says Haraszti, inviting us all to search for our own answers.
The screening will take place on Sept 22 at 8pm in the De Seve Cinema Hall, 1400 De Maisonneuve W. Admission is Free