Sunday, March 17
The Berkshire International Film Festival presents:
Water Children: A film by Aliona van der Horst
Netherlands, 2011, 75 minutes, Japanese/English with English subtitles
The Triplex, Great Barrington, 11 a.m.
In this acclaimed, hauntingly beautiful film, director Aliona van der Horst follows the unconventional Japanese-Dutch pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama as she explores the miracle of fertility and the cycle of life—sometimes joyful, sometimes tragic. When Mukaiyama recognized that her childbearing years were ending, she created a multimedia art project on the subject in a village in Japan, constructing what she calls a cathedral out of twelve thousand white silk dresses. While Mukaiyama’s own mesmerizing music provides a haunting backdrop to the film, her installation elicits confessions from its normally reticent Japanese visitors, many of whom have never seen art before. In moving scenes, they open up about previously taboo subjects. Mukaiyama’s courageous approach to a subject that remains unspoken in many cultures is explored with an elegance and sophistication that deepens our understanding of the relationship between body and mind. Tomoko Mukaiyama website
Dutch director Aliona van der Horst has directed four international award-winning documentaries. She was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1970 and studied Russian literature at the University of Amsterdam and film at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. She began her career in 1997 with the much-acclaimed The Lady with the White Hat and since then has received multiple awards for most of her films, among them the Special Jury Prize at the Tribeca film festival for Voices of Bam (2006), and the Grand Prix of the FIFA Montreal for The Hermitage Dwellers (2004). Recently she received the Jan Kassies Award for outstanding achievement from the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund. For her documentary Boris Ryzhy, she received the Silver Wolf Award at the IDFA, 2008; Best Documentary Award at Edinburgh Filmfestival, 2009; the Award of the Dutch Filmjournalists; and the Special Jury Prize at the FIFA, Montréal. Women Make Movies: Water Children
The Berkshire International Film Festival, a world-class festival and an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires, celebrates its 8th season May 30–June 3, 2013. BIFF showcases not only the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films, but also lively panel discussions and special events, focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera. www.biffma.com