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有種的謙虛,有種的狂妄-生活館第三屆「有種電影節」

文:周思中

按農曆,每年中秋之後,便是農民為過年拼搏之時。八鄉為例,花農開始整地埋下劍蘭頭,十月底的田野,瀰漫着濃重的麪粉氣味;生活館呢,當然就種蘿白,在剛收成的水稻田上,預備堆肥和乾草,重新翻土曬地,點播種子每穴三幾粒。正是十月中旬,兩個颱風從太平洋向西吹來,一個雨大一個風烈,幾乎將所有勞動推倒重來。今年歲晚,市面當然仍然會有劍蘭和蘿白,若是本地出產的,它們就帶着農民的堅毅和雙倍汗水。它們是逆境的產物。

example image 放大些少,另一領域。今年本地農業雜誌《種植香港》首發,它是馬寶寶社區農場的袁易天,與一班關心本地農業和新界發展的朋友,基本上在義務勞動的條件下編採而成,連發行也是螞蟻搬家式的,每人十本賣給親友或帶到不同書店或友好小店寄賣。將訊息散播的同時,也將人一個一個的鼓動起來及連結進來。雜誌與人或小店的連結,一吋一吋地改造,也是一種組織的過程。就如農民開荒,以綠肥或根莖類作物破開久未種植或被破壞的荒地。

兩年前首屆「有種電影節」時,我們就曾說過,紀錄片的製作及放映,何嘗不也是一種組織過程。製作者透過拍攝,不僅能夠連結被拍攝的對象,也中介了被拍攝者及觀眾,化解視覺對象和影像消費者的鴻溝,放映活動本身也成為了創造新社群的嘗試。只是兩年前,這不過是個概念,浪漫而甚至失諸理想化的概念。

然而,以去年為例,比如鄉土學社及菜園新村的兩場放映,卻為這概念賦予了令人相當振奮又難忘的內容。放映的現場,成為了音樂、故事、廚藝、電影、本地農產、新知舊雨、極端天氣、不同年代不同國家社會運動理想和價值觀的交匯地。無需電影院建築出來的黑暗封閉空間,頂天立地的農村黑夜,本身就是讓人神遊千古的場所。這難道不就是(新)社群的創始事件(容或只是之一)嗎?

當然就如任何「過節」般,電影節的活動難免暫時而例外。但我們也希望箇中激發出來的社會關係、意向、情感及實踐,能溢出和流瀉到每一刻的日常,創造條件。耕種日子越長,人變得越來越謙虛,同時也變得越來越狂妄。滴水穿石是連起來的四個字,這成語的設計者恐怕並不相信一滴水能穿開石頭,只是他隱去了滴到石頭也穿,中間過了多少時間。這也容或真的太浪漫,但天地悠悠。

農業、農村、農民和農產,並不是一件一件孤立單一的可量化經濟及政策單位,圖表和檔案並不是其唯一甚至恰當的終點及形式。百分之二的蔬菜自給率,難免灰暗,也不特別刺激想像及意志。如果我們都偏向認為滴水穿石等不及,又或現實太凜烈、太銅牆鐵壁,今年的片目,何不就試看為介入食物系統的不同位置或姿態?關心勞工問題的,有《The Harvest》(2011)、想了解食物安全及台灣麻鷹大量死亡之間關係的,可看《老鷹想飛》(2015)、想了解當下香港台灣日本青年農夫的鬥志與困惑的,要看《移步廣碧》(2016)、有興趣廚藝教育,《Pressure Cooker》(2008)告訴你美國草根黑人學童的學廚之路、《Natureplay》(2016)對照美式講求競爭及北歐較親近大自然的教育理念,對兒童及未來社會走向的迥異效果、《風之波紋》(2015)是一幅人物肖像,也是一個城市人嵌入農村裏農事周期、傳統建築技術、新舊社群的慢而淡的紀錄、《The Farmer and the Chef》(2014)拍攝了一個小農場與一家餐廳並不一蹴而就的關係。與其空積極的說,甚麼人都有關心的理由,不如說誰不與食物系統打着某種形式的交道。

特別需要一提的,是今屆馬寶寶兩場放映。馬寶寶社區農場今夏遭恒基收地,在悶熱和潮濕的條件中負隅頑抗。媒體和輿論也以「私人土地糾紛」來演繹事件,避開觸及新界東北發展的根本問題。兩場馬寶寶放映,一場關於農業勞工,一場關於災後古宅,不一定與收地直接相關,但放映卻希望,以想像、連繫和與情誼將觀眾編織回現場。農夫的天職不是抗爭,抗爭卻幾乎成為農夫超越時空的宿命。抗爭即當下,惟毋忘天地悠悠,就讓我們找個恰當、有效而積極的位置,成為頑強的逆境產物。

Grow to be Humble, Grow to be Bold:
The 3rd Sangwoodgoon Food and Farming Film Festival

Written by Chow Sze Chung, Translated by Jessie Ng

Every year, the Mid-Autumn Festival marks the beginning of farmers’ hard work. It is the time when farmers start to grow the farm products to be sold in the forthcoming Chinese New Year. This year, flower growers in Pat Heung have started to plant gladiolus corms in the fields, thereby creating a rich scent of wheat flour in late October. As for us Sangwoodgoon, we grow daikons. Not only did we prepare the compost and hay required, in our fields where rice had just been harvested, but we also plowed and left the soil for some sunshine before sowing several seeds in every hole. Nevertheless, two typhoons passed Hong Kong in mid-October, one brought heavy rain and the other brought fierce wind. Together, they tore down almost all the farmers’ hard work. In the coming Chinese New Year, there will surely still be gladiolus and daikons in the market. If you find any local products, you should know that they represent the extra perseverance and hard work of the local farmers. They are the products grown in hard times.

On the other hand, the local agriculture magazine, Planting Hong Kong, has launched its first issue this year. Created by TV Yuen from Mapopo Community Farm, together with folks who care about local agriculture and the development of the New Territories, the magazine was made happen mostly on the basis of voluntary work. Even the distribution was done bit by bit on a small scale, with each member selling ten copies to friends, bookstores or local stores. The process of disseminating Planting Hong Kong has simultaneously linked up different parties. The connection between the magazine and people or local stores brings gradual changes. It is a process of organisation as if farmers cultivating an abandoned or destroyed land with green manure or corms.

In fact, two years ago during the 1st Food and Farming Film Festival, we mentioned that we see the production and screening of documentary as a process of organisation. Documentary filmmakers do not only connect the subjects being filmed. As a medium between the subjects being filmed and the audience, these filmmakers connect the two parties by creating a communication beyond conventional visual consumption. We also believe that screening events are attempts of creating new communities. However, these ideas were rather romantic that were yet to be actualised at that time.

Fortunately, our festival events became more encouraging and memorable last year, especially with the two screening events carried out at Society for Indigenous Learning (SOIL) and New Choi Yuen Village respectively. The events created a knowledge exchange venue for people of different ages, social backgrounds, and people with different values. The events also brought music, storytelling, cooking, film and local agriculture together. At night, the villages became a wonderful theatre for us to traverse history. Didn’t these events contribute to creating new communities?

Although we only take the chance to organise events annually under this film festival, we hope that the events could ignite some bonding, ideas, emotions and actions in daily life. As we spend more time on farming, we become humbler but bolder at the same time. There is a Chinese idiom, similar to 'dripping water hollows out stone’, to express that with persistence, we can overcome all kinds of difficulties. The idiom indeed does not tell how much time it would take for the dripping water to wear away a stone like that. This belief might be too romantic, but everything takes time to develop.

Agriculture, villages, farmers and farm products are not just separate and quantifiable economic units. Graphs and documents are not the only ways to describe and understand them. When our food self-sufficiency ratio goes as low as 2%, it is difficult not to feel discouraged. Nonetheless, even if you tend to think we are running out of time for changes to happen, or that the reality is too cruel to face, the films this year may bring you some new perspectives to reflect upon our food system. With The Harvest (2011), you may learn more about labour problems; with Fly, Kite Fly (2015), the relation between food security and the high number of deaths of black kites in Taiwan; with Agroway (2016), the ambition of young farmers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, and the struggles they face; with Pressure Cooker (2008), the culinary education experience of black children from grassroot families; with NaturePlay (2016), the differences in the development of children and society between the United States and Northern Europe, the former’s education policy emphasising competitiveness and the latter emphasising experiencing Nature. Whereas Kaze no Hamon (2015) documents the personal story of a city dweller experiencing the periodic agricultural schedule and traditional architectural skills among new and old communities, The Farmer & the Chef (2014) portrays the complex relationship between a small local farm and a restaurant. Undoubtedly, all of us are involved and participating in the food system in certain ways.

I would specifically like to mention the two screenings at Mapopo Community Farm this year. This summer, Henderson Land Development Company Limited repossessed a part of farmland on Mapopo Community Farm. Members and supporters of the farm community fought a tough war in heat and humidity, but the media only represented the incident as a dispute over private land, avoided to bring up the fundamental problems of the development of North East New Territories. The two films to be shown at Mapopo Community Farm concern respectively issues of farmworkers and an old building after a natural disaster. Although the films are not directly related to the farmland repossession, we hope that through the film-watching experience, the events could encourage the audience to build reciprocity and learn more about the site of Mapopo and its current context. Protesting is not farmers’ mission, but it has become the fate of farmers across time and space. Despite the urgency of protesting, we should bear in mind that things take time to develop, and we should find appropriate, effective and proactive positions for ourselves in order to be the resilient produce under hard times.