Arts & Culture

Farming at Luna

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Based on an autobiographical story by writer-director Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Farming centres around the story of Enitan, a young Nigerian boy growing up in the UK last century.

During the 1960’s to 1980’s a practice called “farming” took place, whereby Nigerian families fostered out their children to working class white families in Britain, so that they could focus on work, study and saving money.

As the movie unfolds, we are thrown into Enitan’s childhood and coming of age story which one can only best describe as turbulent.

He is alone and a misfit – caught between cultures, and subject to constant racism. When he gets drawn into the world of a racist and violent skinhead gang, it starts a sequence of events that lead to pointless repeated violence and tragic circumstances.

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Fully Sikh by Black Swan Theatre Company and Barking Gecko

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Three years after appearing on Australia’s Got Talent with a powerful poem on racism, spoken word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa has made her theatre debut: Fully Sikh. The “Fully Sikh” experience began pre-show outside Studio Underground – where I attempted to play carrom, an Indian tabletop game for the first time, while others got turbans tied.

When it was time for the show, we took off our shoes and were invited into the theatre. The set had been beautifully transformed into Sukhjit’s childhood home, where she was preparing a meal in the kitchen.

Through her spirited, interactive performance poetry, Sukhjit told her story of growing up as a Sikh girl in suburban Perth.

 

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Italian Film Festival 2019

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The Lavazza Italian Film Festival is off and running in Perth, with a wide range of movies to suit all tastes.

For those looking for a romantic comedy, Bangla is a fun and light hearted romp where boy meets girl from very different sides of the neighbourhood. The story of Bangla follows the budding romance between 22 year old Phaim (who is born in Italy and whose Muslim parents are from Bangladesh) and a modern Italian girl Asia (Carlotta Antonelli).

As the relationship progresses, Phaim is forced to confront the conflicts between his family and religious values (e.g. no alcohol, no sex before marriage) as he falls head over heels in love with the impulsive Asia.

A contemporary and witty look at multicultural love in current day Italy, Director Phaim Bhuiyan's debut film Bangla has made an outstanding contribution to modern cinema.

And here are Perth Walkabout's five movie picks selected from the 2019 Italian Film Festival Program Guide:

 

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Black is the New White by Black Swan State Theatre Company

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Since the days of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, star crossed lovers and their conflicting families have been a staple of theatre and film.  Nakkiah Lui's Black is the New White returns to this familiar theme, taking the race conflict of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner but reversing the typical power dynamic shown between Aborigines and Caucasians to great effect.

Charlotte Gibson is a rising Aboriginal lawyer from an upper middle-class family who has just won a high profile lawsuit which has left her exhausted and questioning the values of her upbringing. She has returned to the family holiday home with her new partner Francis Smith, a white Australian who composes experimental classical music and who scrapes by on his small trust fund allowance.

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The Farewell at Luna

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American director and writer Lulu Wang’s latest movie The Farewell follows the troubles and tensions of a widespread Chinese family who reunites to visit their dying grandmother whilst concealing the fact that she has been diagnosed with cancer and does not have long to live.

The family visit the grandmother on the pretext of going to China to attend the wedding of a grandson and his Japanese wife to be.

The main character Billi is a young New York woman and budding writer, who has fond memories of her grandmother from when she was a young child growing up in China,  before her parents migrated to America.

As well as being funny and heartfelt, the drama comedy raises some interesting and poignant issues about what it means to be family, with Billi being caught in the middle of traditional Chinese culture and the Western values she has developed while living in the USA.

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The Apparatus at The Blue Room Theatre

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The Apparatus grabs your attention as soon as you walk into the theatre. Mostly because Tim Green is munching on snacks behind a mixing desk in the corner of the stage, with his face painted white, wearing nothing but his underwear. Humphrey Bower soon joins him, similarly dressed, but unlike Green, he acquires more costumes as the show progresses. (As a word of warning, the show in question does get pretty graphic, but not because of the semi-nudity.)

The Apparatus has been adapted from three Franz Kafka stories: Before the Law, The Burrow, and In the Penal Colony. In Part One of the play, a man spends his life trying to gain access to a door guarded by a gatekeeper. In Part Two, Bower seamlessly transitions into the role of an animal, paranoid about defending the burrow he has created. Finally, in Part Three, Bower transforms again, this time into a camo-wearing, broad-accented Australian man, channelling certain politicians as he showcases a new torture device.

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The Third Wife at Luna

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Beneath the tranquil waters of 19th century rural Vietnam, we see the turbulent undercurrents through the eyes of 14 year old May as she enters an arranged marriage to the head of a wealthy family in payment for her father's debt.

“The Third Wife” is a cinematically beautiful piece, showcasing the ebb and flow of life and its interconnectedness with nature and its seasons. We see the family go about their everyday routines – putting food on the table, and attending to daily chores.

As May adjusts to life with her new family, she comes of age, and soon realises that bearing a son will bring her an increase in status within the patriarchal household.

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