queerDOC - Day One

NIGHT TRADE Dir: Barbara Karpinski, Australia, 2001, Beta SP, 10 mins (full house) score: 4 out of 5 The festival opened with the premiere screening of a short film titled ‘Night Trade’. Shows a mans life in Australia now after having fled the war Yugoslavia and explores his work as a gigolo. Half documentary in that the voice over is authentic while the visuals are re-enactments. This work also features Johnnie Cass of Big Brother fame. KEEP THE RIVER ON YOUR RIGHT Dirs: David and Laurie Shapiro, USA, 2000, 35mm, 90 mins (full house) score: 4 out of 5 The journey of Tobias Schneebaum as a film crew looking to make an interesting documentary force an 78 year old man to re-walk a part of his life he would rather forget. There’s a beautiful scene in the film where Tobias sings a song of the Asmat people and then he translates it: In the river there is shrimp In the river there is piss In the river there is shit The shrimp eat the piss The shrimp eat the shit We eat the shrimp. Strangely this film has a lot to say yet the messages it sends don’t seem to be the ones the directors had in mind. The film itself seems to almost not hear the message of its subject and keeps bring the issue back to cannibalism even though Tobias himself states that it was such a small part of his life. For more information about queerDOC 2001 or Queer Screen.