Onoway, 2009, 7:57, Dir; Sheryle Carlson
The second overtly activist piece in this year’s program focuses on a little known but elsewhere documented (in Haaretz for one) aspect of Israel’s occupation and settlement of Palestine’s West Bank. Except for text part way through and at the end of the video, Carlson takes a direct cinema approach to this mini-doc, allowing the olive farmers to tell their side of the story as they try to access their groves in the occupied zone. What gives this eight-minute piece a feeling of completeness is the fragmentary capture of an incident that adds weight to her subjects’ words. As her title suggests, we get a mere impression of this event – never seeing the arrest of the man in the green shirt and only hearing what will probably happen to him – but within the considerable limitations imposed on her, Carlson has assembled a well-rounded piece that provokes as effectively as it informs.
Art is activism for Onoway-based film maker Sheryle Carlson. Her work engages with issues surrounding social justice, corporate and governmental responsibility and environmental sustainability. An important point of focus for Carlson is the communication of facts, ideas and ideals often obscured or hidden by the onslaught of mass culture and conformist pressures of consumerism that limit diversity and in some cases, free thinking .