Maya Lin: Strong Clear Vision

Art is a powerful weapon that can be used to express an idea or a message. Maya Lin’s will to not let her idea of the memorial be changed is truly inspiring. Many people began to attack Lin due to their unagreement towards the message that the memorial was portraying in their minds. The thing about art is that not everybody sees the same thing as you do. People’s perspectives are different depending on their background, which cause people to think differently and perceive messages differently. This is why we must not be thinking at what other people think about our decisions because not everybody will agree with you but others will. As in this film, Maya received a lot of criticism for her memorial design but many others supported her that is why she won the contest rather than the many professionals that had also been part of the contest.

I am an artist myself and am always concerned about what people think about my ideas. Although I feel comfortable with it I always have a doubt when I start thinking that it will not be accepted. We care too much about how people perceive us and we forget to think for ourselves. Maya Lin’s strong character is truly inspirational, for she did not let others affect her decisions. Going through all the criticism at such a young age is hard, and I am glad that she was able to take it and not let anybody take her down.

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Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Art is one of the most powerful forms of expression in order to break from the social norms that society has brought upon us. It is used as a form of self expression and freedom of speech in order to express a thought or a feeling. If it is done through drawing, sculpting, or by film they can all be powerful weapons in a chaotic society. Ai Weiwei’s documentary “Never Sorry” expresses this through his work, in order to make awareness of the issues that are taking over China. The piece that impacted me the most was the monument created in remembrance to the children who lost their lives due to an earthquake that struck China. Those children were unfortunate enough to go to a school made of poor construction causing the buildings to collapse very easily. As one of the parents of the victim stated, “you can’t call it tofu construction, its the dregs of the tofu!”. When Ai Weiwei finished the murial using 9,000 backpacks in order to remember the students, he posted in a picture in his twitter account with the notation, “She lived happily on this earth for 7 years.” This was a very powerful statement, made from one of the parents, it is just heartbreaking to realize how young some of the children were they lost their lives in a horrible way.

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Even though Ai Weiwei is putting his life in danger by the works he and his team members do, he still does not let anything stop him because he is determined to speak for those who cannot. During an interview Ai Weiwei was asked why he is more fearless than anyone else and he replied by stating that he is actually more fearful than most but that is why he acts more brave “because I know that danger is really there and if I dont act then the danger becomes stronger”. Through this documentary I was able to understand that we must not let ourselves be influenced by society. We must think for ourselves and fight for our believes. We do not have to be part of violence but we can demonstrate our individualism through imagery and creativity. Because in the end it is not about being fearless but about having the will to make a change in a society that is trying to push you to be a certain way.

100 YEARS:One Woman’s Fight for Justice

I’ve never felt so angry, frustrated, disappointed, and relieved while watching a film. This film was truly inspirational not only to Native Americans but to women as well. This film is a perfect example towards what “fight for what you want” really is like. Elouise Cobell was a symbol of hope to the Native American community as she used her voice to speak for all. Native Americans are considered to be one of the minority races in this country, which have lead them to live in poverty in unsanitary conditions. Although the government has invaded their territory, they do not receive any sort of compensation for the conditions that they are forced to live in. It really infuriated me when I heard that the government was lying about how much oil they were taking from the land in order to avoid paying the landowners their fair share. It makes me frustrated to see a country who expects people to be honest and respect other people when they do not even respect the land of others. They prefer to steal and lie to the faces of the people despite various evidence available to prove them wrong.

How can we create a safe world when not even our leaders like to follow the rules. I was glad the Elouise never gave up because it helped prove the government wrong. Despite the constant threats and accusations, declaring her a stupid and a liar, she knew what she was doing was right and she fought for what she believed in. Even though the lawsuit did not end with the price she was fighting for, she was still able to win a big amount to give back to the rightful owners. It made me realize that I should not let others tell me what I can and cannot do. I should not be afraid to fight for what I want, because you will never know what you can reach if you keep on fighting.

I cried at the end of the film when I read that Eloise had actually passed away months after the lawsuit was won. Even though I tried to hold back the tears I couldn’t help it. It is sad to see the good go, but she left the world knowing she helped many. I felt like this is what she was meant to do in her life. She put all her time and effort into speaking out for the people who did not have a voice and made sure they were heard. She helped so many people due to her courage and she will forever be remembered. img_4747

Sapphires

I believe this film has been the best one we have watched yet. The humor in this film had me laughing the entire film. I can watch this again and laugh all over again. But on a serious note, I really liked this film it was beautiful and kept me watching it till the very end. I am intrigued my films that are inspired by true stories, they always make me appreciate the film a bit more. It was sad to realise that there were actually people who had to live with people looking down on them just because of their color. But I loved that they did not let that stop these women from pursuing their dreams. Thanks to Julie, which is the youngest sister, the Sapphires were able to go to Vietnam, which changed their lives.

Although they did encounter trouble there, like the sudden air attack while they were performing, they were able to overcome it and be stronger than ever. This film is a very important film, especially during the hard times that we are going through. As racism rises, we must try to not let that come between our success and continue to strive. We do not know what awaits for us if we never take some risks.

Smoke Signals

The film “Smoke Signals” demonstrated the trouble of an Indian boy who feels disconnected to his identity due to the absence of his father. Victor’s tough personality leads him to be hard towards Thomas. Thomas, who is an orphan due to the loss of his parents due to a fire, was raised by his grandmother after Victor’s dad rescued him when Thomas was thrown out the window from the burning house. Thomas relationship to Victor serves as a  crucial bond that allows Victor later see the importance of his father and change is point of view. Their journey to Phoenix opened a new bonding to their relationship which gave Victor a chance of hope and understanding.

I really liked this movie, you hardly see Indian story movies, and this movie was a good one to watch. The story was sad and beautiful at the same time. Many children suffer a lot due to the absence of one of their parents. It leaves them vulnerable to hatred or a disconnected to their surroundings because they feel like they were betrayed. Just like Victor felt like his father never really cared for him and he was only a liar, which lead him to not have any trust on anybody and believed they were all liars. Thomas willingness to stick to his side no matter how badly he would treat him served him as an understanding of loyalty and purity. Thomas helped him see that not everybody gives up on you and people can actually believe in you. Throughout their journey, Victor was able to find the peace that he longed for and was finally able to see the good in people. This is what really made me like the movie even more because I like happy endings, so I will recommend it to as many people as I can.

Billy Elliot

Discovering your self identity is difficult to achieve, not only to be able to identify yourself but to be accepted create a major factor in accepting yourself. In the film Billy Elliot a young boy named Billy discovers that he want to be a ballet dancer, averse to his father’s opinion to being a boxer. Struggling to be able to provide much for the family, Billy’s father and brother Tony are on strike against the coal mines. With daily tension flowing through the family, Billy is unable to express his feelings without disappointing his father so he decides to keep it amongst himself and his friend, Micheal. After his father discovered he was dancing, Billy was forced out of dancing. He later began sneaking dance lessons from his teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson who saw his potential and suggested auditioning for the Royal Ballet School.

Being able to express yourself takes courage and self awareness. Most human’s have a need for acceptance and may suffer from loss of self-identity in the process of being able to “fit in”. The film was a very inspiring movie to watch. It demonstrates that even amongst all the trouble and mayhem one must not lose who you really are and what you want to do. Billy’s strong feelings towards dancing allowed him to express himself and was able to demonstrate his passion to his family even though they didn’t approve in the beginning. Humans have created  gender specific roles that cause many to be subjected to criticism when they violate those gender roles. I liked the message in this film, it was uplifting and emotional at parts but it contained a message that many can relate too.

Songcatcher

Music has been around for many years, and being able to preserve the traditional roots of songs is important. In the Songcatcher, Lily Penleric’s enthusiasm for music has led her to become a musicologist and a professor at university. When her skills were taken for granted she decides to leave her teaching and visit her sister Eleanor, or Elna, in the mountains of Appalachia. During her visit she was able to discover the treasure that the mountains held with their music. Deladdis was the first to sing to Lily with her song Barbara Allen, where Lily began her discovery of the roots to the American music. She then traveled through the mountains to discover and collect the different songs that each mountain carried. In her hopes to publish her discovery, she encounters various obstacles but never gives up hope.

After a fire in her sister’s school, Lily lost all of her collections and was unable to publish her discovery. Although it devastated her, she decided to go back to her town with Deladdis and Tom who she became her partner. She decided she was going to make record the songs and sell disks to people in order to preserve the traditional rhythms of the American songs.