Old World New
: Miles S. Crossman,
4.59 mins Shot On:
Sony A7S w/ Atomos Ninja Flame
Brandon ,Manitoba , Canada
This story was inspired by a friend and former employee. Upon meeting him in mid-2013, he had a light air about him that inspired. As the situation in his homeland of Eastern Ukraine began to deteriorate it started to have a profound change in him. He spoke of the honor attacks that were happening in his hometown of which his own parents were the victim of. They simply spoke the wrong language in the wrong area of town. Having no experience of this kind of behavior I struggled to understand how this could ever be an issue.
I began to imagine what kind of country Canada would be if this was happening here. What would our streets be like? How would we treat each other differently? How would our worldview change? I asked him what he thought about the situation and his response was that he was just happy to be in Canada as he knew that he would be involved in the fighting. Why? I asked. He said that it would be his obligation to take up arms against those against them, “How could I show my face if I did not?” It really struck me that this concept of honor and punishment was so ingrained that it was tied not just to some individuals but within the entire community as a whole. “How could I show my face...” if I did not seek vengeance? A powerful notion that I still grapple with as it is in direct contrast to the ideals of forgiveness and the rule of law in Canada.
I knew that as the turmoil raged in Eastern Ukraine, so too did the angst amongst the diaspora here in Manitoba. The dinner time conversation with loved ones at home would be about loved ones at ‘home’ a world away. These new Canadians and particularly their children would have to decide what kind of country they would make Canada in their wake. Would the minutia of growing up in a different culture from their parents be lost in translation? This short film is an attempt to identify this struggle and ‘call out’ the negative response that I believe all humans have within them, to seek vengeance. It highlights the choice that we make when we put violence as a means of resolving conflict behind us and work for a better world.