5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown

2010, 10 min, color, sound, HD video

Silver premiered 5 lessons and 9 questions about Chinatown in the Shorts Program of the 2010 Berlinale International Film Festival. A longtime resident of New York's Chinatown neighborhood, she writes, "You live somewhere, walk down the same street fifty, a hundred, ten thousand times, each time taking in fragments, but never fully registering THE PLACE. Years, decades go by and you continue, unseeing, possibly unseen.

A building comes down, and before the next one is up you ask yourself, 'What used to be there?' You are only vaguely aware of the district's shifting patterns and the sense that, since the 19th century, wave after wave of inhabitants have moved through and transformed these alleyways, tenements, stoops and shops.

10 square blocks, past, present, future, time, light, movement, immigration, exclusion, gentrification, racism, history, China, America, 3 languages, 13 voices, 152 years, 17,820 frames, 9 minutes, 54 seconds, 9 questions, 5 lessons. Chinatown."

Producer: Karin Chien. Research: Teri Chan, Nina Lam. Translation: Jeremy Chien, Lu Yu. Voiceover: Lu Yu, Wai Ching, Ho Johnson Chong. Sound Mix: Ian Stynes, Great City Productions. Color Correction: John Vladic, Deluxe New York. Archival Material: The National Archives Museum of Chinese in America. Commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in America for The Chinatown Film Project. Filmography: Shelly Silver.


This work is HD video and must be shown with a 16:9, HD display.
High-Definition Video Guide