A Mesmerizing Stop Motion Documentary
First of all, Little Fiel, directed by Irina Patkania is a 2018 Oregon Documentary Film Festival Official Selection. Also, this film screened on Saturday May 26, 2018. Furthermore, Little Fiel, is the winner of the Best Original Music Award. Tagline: "Guns are not killers. They are pieces of metal that can be reassembled into anything, including a little boy, a bird or a rose. Just as they make them, we can unmake them, one by one."
Synopsis: Little Fiel, Directed By Irina Patkanian
Little Fiel, directed by Irina Patkanian, is a short documentary with stop motion animation about unending wars and ubiquitous guns. It is loosely based on the life story of Mozambican artist Fiel dos Santos. A man who is the only one in his family to never have shot a gun and who makes art of decommissioned guns donated by the public in exchange for food and tools. Fiel dos Santos grew up during the 16 year old civil war. Consequently, another proxy war equipped and sustained by conflicting foreign powers.
Fiel created eight figures representing his father, mother, five brothers and sister from decommissioned guns. Three New York artists turned them into puppets and animated. Little Fiel tells a universal story of peaceful people who have been coerced, conscripted and enticed into killing each other. It is collective act of resistance and hope.
When the Civil War in Mozambique started in 1975, Fiel was 3 years old. He had a big family of five siblings and numerous cousins. Towards the end of the 16-year-war, Fiel found himself living alone in the dilapidating house with no electricity and water at the age of 14. Furthermore, to overcome depression and madness he started drawing on the walls of the house.
Today Fiel is a renowned artist, one of four authors of the celebrated “Tree of Life” sculpture exhibited in the British Museum. In the film, Fiel remembers his childhood while dismantling decommissioned guns and welding them into figures representing his family members.
Irina Patkanian Director's Statement
I grew up in the USSR. As Svetlana Alexievich said about Russian people in her 2015 Nobel lecture, “We are people of war. We have always been at war or been preparing for war. We all think in terms of war.” Russia, my birth country and the USA my adopted home land, have always backed, financed and equipped other countries’ civil wars. Therefore, they bear responsibility for millions of killed and displaced people.
Above all, civil wars are wars among civilians coerced, conscripted and enticed into killing each other. Consequently, until foreign powers focus on pulling the conflicting sides apart rather than equipping and backing just one of them. As a result, Civil wars will continue bringing pain, destruction and death.
Irina Patkanian Director's Biography
Irina Patkanian is an award winning filmmaker, a Fulbright scholar, a MacDowell and Obermann fellow. Also, Irina is a professor of film and media production at Television and Radio department of Brooklyn College of City University of New York. Most noteworthy, she is the president of “In Parentheses,” a NYC based nonprofit Film, Theater & Media Arts Company. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Irina Patkanian came to the U.S. In 1991 after graduating from the University of St. Petersburg with a BA in Philology of Germanic Languages.
After receiving an MA degree in Linguistics from the University of Iowa, she was awarded an American Association of University Women International Fellowship. In order to pursue the MFA degree in Film Production. She studied film with Dudley Andrew and Leighton Pierce. In 1999 she moved to New York City with her son Gleb. Irina Patkanian makes hybrid and creative documentary mixing fiction and non fiction. Also, live action and stop motion animation, film and theater. Even more, her films played and won awards in film festivals and art venues worldwide. Best Documentary at Peace on Earth Film Festival, Chicago Best Fiction Short and also Sand Diego Women Film Festival and UFVA.
Furthermore, Irina is a recipient of grants from New York State Council of the Arts, Tow, Blaustein, Troy and Jerome Foundations. Most noteworthy, she is working on a documentary opera "Iphigenia in Lesvos: Story of a Refugee." Written by Lisa Schlesinger, mise-en-secne directed by Marion Schoevaert. Also featuring music by Kinan Azmeh.