Guest Post by Liz Marshall
After two decades of nonfiction work, I am at play in the realm where everything is possible.
The heavy lifting of global social environmental and animal justice filmmaking is stamped on my worldview, etched within my consciousness. Is a badge of honour that I wear with humility, well aware that given the complexity, nuance, and sensitivities of reality, identity, and culture, I touched the surface, contributed to a canon.
Now it is fertile material as I write and imagine, in a new form.
To breathe life into fully human imagined souls feels like revolution from a different angle.
Fluidity of thought concretizes into words, infused by porous layers of meaning. Seeing deeply into the roots of suffering, societal constructs, nonhuman animals, nature, of family, relationships, of self, is the entry to character development.
Fingers to keys.
Which brings me to my love of womxn.
Stories of older womxn of peri-menopausal and post-menopausal power, and young womxn forming identity, individuating from family, are both greatly underrepresented in film. Especially as written and directed by womxn. What a deficit. Our collective human condition has been understood and propagated, writ large, through the lens of the white male, and mostly heterosexual, experience.
The paradigm shift taking place now, within the film industry establishment, is not only for womxn but for racialized creators. It is slow, but what is changing is who is receiving funding, and where these films are being showcased. Money and platform equal opportunity, exposure, and influence. Diverse narratives can heal us all.
It is with reverence that I acknowledge the Historic Joy Kogawa House and my residency here. October to November 2020, an unforgettable time, both personally and globally. Seasonal change is metaphor. Geographical change from Toronto to Vancouver, on my very own shifting tectonic plate, during a world pandemic, is nothing short of epic.
There is a linger effect in this house. I sense it as a dancing light in the dark. The brilliant sentience of Joy Kogawa, her child self, alive between these walls. And on paper, her words are like strings of the highest and clearest of frequencies.
With mastery she dips in and out of the darkest of notes. And the writers who have occupied this space before me, have dreamed and cooked and written their worlds here. We are part of a symphonic soup. Mine is vegan!
My honouring would be incomplete without mention of Michael Glassbourg, my co-writer. Michael approached me two years ago with a draft screenplay. It has since, with his trust in me, been revamped, considerably. We are ablaze in our process. Some sessions are more verbal than others, depending on the needs of the story. We collaborate in real-time via Final Draft, five days a week.
In a sense, my long-time friend Michael, a writer and film professor, has initiated me through the gate, and this House is sanctuary.
November 22, 2020
Historic Joy Kogawa House