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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Sarah Lockwood at 11:23AM

Blog post written by Sarah Lockwood, Cinema & Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Blairstown, New Jersey

Sunday, the final evening of FLEFF 2012, I found myself in theater number four at Cinemapolis, watching the film Beijing Besieged by Waste with two very special people.

To my right sat a fellow intern and friend, to the left sat my brother.

For the past eight months, my brother has lived and worked in China, this weekend being our first reunion since last July. It seemed only fitting that we should view a film about that very country.

Images of thousand-acre landfills and poverty-stricken citizens fill the screen. A small boy playing with items found in a trash bag, a man building a house among the garbage, ponds completely smothered by waste.

At one point, a middle-aged Chinese woman onscreen describes her life as a 'professional' garbage scavenger - a job her family does not know she holds.

She is cheerful but clearly impoverished, citing an amount of Chinese money and states that she is lucky - lucky - if she makes that much in a month. 

From beside me, my brother whispers, "That is forty-five American dollars."


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