In a 2030s small town bitterly divided over who belongs, a young Muslim-American woman puts herself at risk when she shares her private, digitized memories with strangers, challenging the status quo in the hope that empathy will triumph over hate.
“American Quartet, through innovative storytelling and without speaking a word, poignantly communicates the future of hate, humanity, and courage.”
– Irshad Manji, author, “Don’t Label Me”
“Dvořák’s music is a perfect underscore for this American story of love, hate and identity…”
– Elliott Forrest, WQXR
“American Quartet” is a short film set in the near future, in which the newest device is a telepathic diary. The diary, owned by everyone, records only each individual’s emotions and memories for the purpose of retrieving and re-experiencing them. It centers on Noreen, a young home health aide starting to make a home for herself in a small American town, only to find that there are people who don’t want to share their town with her. Andrew, a young man who lost his father in a war in the Middle East, does his utmost to make sure Noreen knows she’s unwelcome. And the majority of citizens, shepherded by longtime city councilwoman Sonia, are more interested in minimizing strife than in facing the underlying issues that plague their town. But with the help of Antonia, a newly-elected and justice-hungry city councilwoman, Noreen might have a chance at creating a place she can call home. Antonín Dvorák’s beautiful “American Quartet” drives the film and allows the characters to tell their stories entirely without dialogue.
Sonder: n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed. – Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
This film was inspired by a feeling of helplessness in a chaotic time; not knowing where to channel our efforts, our grief, our frustration.
Takako Vs. Nine Lives is screen dance that uses a hybrid dance language and multiple camera perspectives to create parodic feminist interpretation of a three act balletic pas de deux/ three round wrestling match. The choreography, performed to an original score, draws upon vocabulary and aesthetic imagery from professional wrestling, classical ballet, comic books and Japanese manga. The action follows a mythological narrative, with characters behaving according to codes employed in Greek mythology, fairy tales and commedia dell’ arte. A battle unfolds, reflecting the interconnectedness of love and violence, beauty and monstrosity, strength and vulnerability.
An Iranian immigrant confronts his American self.
Project Title (Original Language):تضاد هويتى
Film Type:Experimental, Short, Student
Runtime:8 minutes 44 seconds
Completion Date:September 1, 2017
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States