With my lifestyle and the dispersed locations of my friends, it is very rare when we can all do what most groups of friends do at least once a month: relax by watching the same movie together. In fact, this year I will only have two opportunities to do exactly that. On June 28 in Budapest we will all be able to watch a short video I’m putting together about the many accomplishments of the Rising Voices projects. The other opportunity to watch a movie with all my friends was this past Saturday. “With”, of course, is open to interpretation.
Pangea Day, which took place on Saturday in major cities all around the world, was the creation of Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (producer of the documentary film Control Room) who won the 2006 TED prize and presented her wish at TED2007: “I wish to bring the world together for one day a year through the power of film.” Thanks to the support of hundreds of people in the TED community, that wish actually became a reality.
On Saturday my sister and I took the metro to Konex Cultural Center, a place where I’ll be visiting frequently when I return to Buenos Aires to live, and joined about 100 others to watch the 24 films shown as part of Pangea Day. At the same time my friend Juliana was in one of my favorite bars in Medellín helping organize the Pangea Day event there. In Los Angeles, my buddy Gilad (originally from Israel) watched the event there (and will soon be posting a comprehensive review). In Tokyo, Megumi, who I first met earlier this year in New York, was watching Pangea Day with friends at United Nations University’s Media Studio. In Trinidad my dear friend Georgia was watching Pangea Day in her bedroom along with Delphine, a bitter enemy.
And in London, Neha (originally from India) liveblogged the event while she was sitting next to Paula (originally from Brazil), another friend from Global Voices. Speaking of Paula, she has published, along with 73 photos on her flickr account, a fascinating post on Global Voices which collects translations of posts by Brazilian bloggers of their reflections on the films and the event itself. Hopefully it will be translated into Spanish soon. Juliana has also summarized some global reflections on the event, and the TED Blog has posts from Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, and Shangai.
I first heard about Pangea Day at the Konex thanks to a post in Buenos Aires Lado B. Unfortunately, Irina was one of the few (only?) Spanish-speaking bloggers in Buenos Aires who mentioned the event. Almost all of the results for the search “pangea day buenos aires” come from expat blogs. Still, there are two interesting footnotes about Pangea Day and Buenos Aires. First, one of the 24 videos that were selected for the event was directed by Juan Diego Solanas, an Argentine director born in Buenos Aires who moved to France with his filmmaking father during the dictatorship. The other interesting note is that a photograph by a Buenos Aires-based expat blogger, Beatrice M, was used in
the trailer a video for Pangea Day.
Personally, I thought that all 24 of the videos were really excellent and offer an artistic glimpse of what it is like to be a human being in our world in 2008. I can’t say as much for all the endless talking between each of the videos. That seemed like a bunch of college kids trying to prove the diversity of their friends while pretending to put on a Grammy-like awards show. I would have much rather had each of the filmmakers present their own works and leave it at that. I also liked the performances of the bands. I think it would be great to invite musicians from the same countries where the films were made and have them perform a song before each film. Maybe next time? According to a friend, organizers have their eyes set on 2010.