For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SLOIFF, Day 2!

We all have stories, stemming from our own experiences. Saturday's cinematic events at the 16th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival brought the language of film to convey stories of struggle and survival, lost beauty and cultural survival, corporate power and control. The following films spoke clearly to me, reminding me that even in the midst of great suffering or the erosion of basic fundamental rights, stories emerge that teach and inspire us.

As I watched Ngawang Choephel's story unfold in his documentary Tibet in Song, his brave journey captivated me with the gorgeous images and sounds of Tibet, and the struggles of cultural oppression caused by the Chinese occupation. Ngawang's return to his homeland, where he went in search of the survival of traditional Tibetan folk music, ultimately resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese. Although half of his film footage was confiscated, the other half was safely rescued by a friend, and today Ngawang's story speaks triumphantly on screen. He now makes his home in New York City and his quest to preserve the voices and songs of traditional Tibetan folk music continues.

Closer to home, another voice spoke through film in the exposé, Broadcast Blues, written, produced and directed by investigative journalist, Sue Wilson. Sue attended the screening and provided a lively discussion after the movie. Her evocative documentary chronicles the power that corporate media in the United States yields, and how the American public has lost control and access to a vital piece of their democracy—the air waves. Not only does the story she tells expose the erosion of the media and the public's access to the facts, but proposes sweeping changes in the interest of the public to take the media back.

We all follow different paths, depending on the issues that are important to us personally. Through the language of film, we can learn from one another; these were just a few of the stories that spoke to me.

As day 3 of the festival begins, once again I look to the screen.

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