Sunday, April 27, 2014

Used Clothes/New Life --- Day 3/106

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (SF International Film Festival)
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga practice                            


On her way to today's International Film Festival movie, Ciwt got encouragement for her closet caper donations when she saw 'her' Prana jacket walk by in the other direction.  The girl looked cute in her red jeans and clearly was enjoying the jacket (which is grey).  She's small, and I'm sure was amazed the jacket fit her so well.  Only Ciwt knows it is because she had it tapered before giving it up to see if that would help.

The concept of old clothes/hand me downs continued on her mind as she watched Happiness, a France/Finland entry and a very spare, eloquent, thought-provoking film. Filmed in Bhutan, it concerns the moment of arrival of modernization (in the form of electricity, TV and internet) to a rural village. A quasi-documentary, the movie truly feels like a trip to Bhutan - probably better really because it immerses the viewer in the daily, ancient culture.  The scenery is spectacular but, for people who are used to stimulation and modernity (ie, the audience), the viewer begins almost immediately to champ at the bit at the stultifying Buddhist rituals, the homespun, hardworking, fundamental way of life. The main character is an 8 year old boy, and the juxtaposition between his universally youthful energies and the prescribed, self-contained, peace-insistent Bhutanese life, is obvious and palpable.  You want him to be able to enjoy/fulfill his utterly inexperienced exuberance, but with the arrival of television (and shows like wrestling) and the internet, you also worry what will be released.

Throughout the film there were glimpses of used Western clothing.  Branded sneakers, hiking boots, tee shirts, parkas, tents were worn and used by all the Bhutanese.  No comment or explanation but Ciwt remembered a friend going to Bhutan about eight years ago and purposely taking extra clothes and shoes as well as planning to leave behind most of what he would wear after the expedition.  I guess that's how the Bhutanese got these items, but Ciwt was surprised at the plethora of them.  Bhutan only opened to highly restricted and very expensive tourism in 1974, but clearly since then, there has been a dramatic increase in tourists as well as the items of used clothing left behind.

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