WOW has been celebrating the riches of world cinema since 2001, bringing an eclectic, intriguing, and moving selection of films from around the globe to cinemas across Wales. WOW presents a selection of the very best in world cinema – and sometimes a film from Wales too.
An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans
Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt
We will stop
the frenetic, hurried rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well.
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa, China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Stop. Just stop.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.
-Kristin Flyntz 3.12.2020
Video made by: Darinka Montico
Written by: Kristin Flyntz
Music: Cold Isolation · David Fesliyan
The festival may be suspended for now, but great films continue. As a loyal audience of WOW Film Festival, you can now enjoy three months of MUBI – including Bacurau - entirely free.
This crazy, inventive, witty Brazilian Western with a sci-fi twist is unlike anything you will have seen. Teresa travels home for the funeral of her grandmother in Bacurau, a fictional village in the sertão (North Brazilian outback) that celebrates its misfit inhabitants.
But on her arrival, she finds it beset by a series of sinister events that suggests a systematic attempt to wipe the village from the map. The film’s wild-hearted fury and extreme violence is clearly a cinematic riff on the work of directors like Alejandro Jodorowsky and Sergio Leone. But it’s also no doubt a retort to the election of far- right president Jair Bolsonaro. Hallucinatory and formally thrilling, Bacurau is an utterly distinctive experience.
“The combination of satire and savagery is pretty fierce and intriguingly unique.” Daily Telegraph
“utterly distinctive film-making, executed with ruthless clarity and force.” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Winner of the Jury Prize Cannes Film Festival 2019
Although sadly the remaining WOW Film Festival dates have been cancelled, we wanted to share these pictures from our launch earlier this month at The Riverfront in Newport, where 120 women came together for the Wales premiere of Made in Bangladesh.
The event was a collaboration with Newport's International Women's Day organisers, and drew women from across Newport and Cardiff.
Many thanks to Red Cross Wales, Rajma Begum, Women Connect First, Wales TUC, BAWSO, WEN Wales, Nilu Ahmed, Amy Morris and everyone who made it a great success.
All being well, we hope to be back with more events like these in the not too distant future.