Guest Blogger – Kasumi
Our guest blogger series continues with an insightful post by the filmmaker Kasumi.
My work has always been about the ways individuals understand and react to the events in their lives because individuals are, it’s almost too simplistic to say, the component parts from which political movements are made. In BREAKDOWN, for example, I appropriated the vocabulary of propaganda to expose the ways political forces feed on individual weaknesses and fantasies to achieve their impersonal ends. SHOCKWAVES burrows even deeper into the individual psyche, but paradoxically finds deep within the individual precisely the same cultural iconography derived from the mass media as is used by the forces of political propaganda.
On the one hand, mine is a very sympathetic view of the individual, basically casting him as a victim of forces he isn’t even aware he’s subject to. But even more importantly, it’s a view that compels me to do what I do—I try to uncover and show the things that really do drive us and the other things that we allow to drive us. Fear of the unknown and childhood trauma are understandable human weaknesses, but until we are able to disconnect them from the violence they too often provoke, we’ll never escape them. I understand warmongers and wife-beaters, but I don’t excuse them.
However, amidst the multi-layered messages in SHOCKWAVES, there’s a hidden thread, a call to action in the viewer, our own rebellion, to challenge the inner voices and rise above our deepest pain. We experience the recurring message: “Never forget the horror; there is no hope,” and we feel moved in reaction to cry out, ‘I can move forward; there always is a better way!’ By unfolding the tragic path of this doomed man whose disturbance so relentlessly leads him to the greatest of all human evils–murder, we must come away with a renewed motivation to face our fears, outgrow our past traumas, and create a better future.