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People, Live With Abandon

People, Live With Abandon

The poet Friedrich Hölderlin, who wrote ‘Man, live poetically’ at a time of poverty and sickness, exhorted us to search for the poetry of life, whether we are in a state of mediocrity or we have already achieved so much that we have nothing more to strive for.

But, we do not live in the days when of carriages and letters, when the world moved at a slower pace. When most people were swept forward by the torrent of life, only thinking of how to make ends meet, and unable to go out to face the roaring waves in sea and spring blossom. Film allows people to have a glimpse of the dazzling light of the outside world. People start to chase after elephant in Manchuria, look for the man called Alyosha, to build their own spaceship, to imagine a thread from their wrists that allows them to swing between skyscrapers.


Film gives us infinite hope that what is shown to us does not only belong to the reality and potential of film characters but, also belongs to us. When the lights dim and the curtain is pulled back, we hear intakes of breath and explosions, feel joy and fear, witness growth and death. We sit on the stone steps of the Cinque Terre and tell each other our feelings, we stand in a collapsed church and talk to death through the windows, we see blood spurting out of a hut in a Parisian slum and a life passing away like an animal.


In an era where it is impossible to slow down, poetry seems to have become a luxury. But, film gives us the possibility of slow down too. We travel freely from universe to universe, living in shell after shell, breathing deeply of life. Man, living at will in the cinematic universe.



Written for The Film Dispatch by Xinxin ‘Sasha’ Wei.  


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