电影《Mulberry child》采访

电影《Mulberry child》采访
电影《Mulberry child》采访已关闭评论, 09/09/2020, by , in Uncategorized, 近期活动 | Events, 金美翎

从最初的目的只是去教导女儿,直到现在慢慢走向了国际的荧屏上,让更多的人了解一位从中国文革时代成长出来的华裔母亲对自己女儿精心教导。

根据华裔作家剑平的作品《Mulberry Child》 (翻译《桑树孩儿:中国回忆录》)拍摄完成的纪录片已在Amazon Prime 亚马逊会员线上频道播放。《桑树孩儿》纪录片记述了作者剑平本人在动荡文革期间成长的经历,并以此教育在美国芝加哥成长的女儿。

于2009年,剑平出版了《桑树孩儿》一书,之后由自身导演Susan Cooper编导制作了近85分钟的纪录片,并在2011年杀青,走入了很多的国际电影节,获得了众多华裔观众的好评。

该影片以剑平的家庭过去经历为背景并使用了很多文革时代的历史镜头和情景重演(主要围绕着剑平父母在文革时代经历的波折展开回忆录),紧扣着剑平和她女儿间的关系从疏远走向互相理解。

剑平是80年代从中国搬到美国的硕士, 她的女儿夏叶在4岁时就随剑平一起来到美国,先在纽约皇后区,之后移居到芝加哥。一个是在美国成长的女儿夏叶,一个是曾经经历文革并走出国门的母亲,这对母女的家庭和世界观却截然不同。女儿喜欢尽情享受生活那种自由感,而母亲也希望女儿能够了解到她的家族历史来改善她的家庭观念,多跟母亲关系走近。

影片片头以剑平带夏叶参加2008年北京奥运会展开叙述,到结尾以家人团聚来辉映整个圆满主题。剑平花了很多心思去让夏叶更深入了解家族历史,她也开始接受母亲的苦心并对中国有了新的认知。

《桑树孩儿》曾在美国棕榈泉电影节、巴哈马国际电影节、马德里国际电影节里陆续获奖,受到很多影迷的好评。记者金美翎也采访到了剑平本人。

Reporter Meiling: “What was the casting process for the documentary? They look extremely natural.”

Jian Ping: “Actually, none of the actors are professional actors, Director Susan was insisting on not using any actors because that’s her directing style. However, I only have very little visual content from my past, so we decided to do this reenactment of my childhood. And all of the reenactments were done in LA with Susan. As for the child, Susan told me that the child was too lively, so she had to drain her energy by playing with her. And then as soon as the child got tired, the camera is ready to roll to film. And Susan literally found the lady who plays the grandma through a friend, and the ‘grandma’ was just visiting her daughter in LA around that time, but she is perfect for the documentary, so they went with her.”

记者金美翎:“当时您是怎样筛选这些演员的呢?他们演得都很真实。”

剑平:“其实这个片子里一位专业演员都没有,苏珊导演的纪录片指导风格完全是走自然风的。然而,我童年里保存下来的照片和影像太少了,所以我们才决定选一些非职业演员来演情景再现片段的。所有情景再现的片段都是在洛杉矶拍摄完成的。当时选扮演我小时候的小女孩特别活泼,我听苏珊说,当时他们需要跟小孩子玩很久,等她累之后才开始拍,那样才可以拍得出片中想要的效果。扮演我奶奶的演员其实是通过朋友找到的,她当时只是来美国探亲,不过在苏珊的说服下才肯接拍的。所以很多演员也是缘分相识。”

Reporter Meiling: “During the watermelon scene of the mother-daughter argument; that scene looks pretty surreal for acting, was it an actual argument?”

Jian Ping: “That was an actual argument. Susan just threw some topics, then we were really into the argument and forgot all about the camera crew. That was a real conversation about us. But after that Lisa mentioned said she was acting a little childish on the screen. The concern I had was that the year when we were filming, she was at certain phase of her life, but the documentary is going to be frozen for that moment. She outgrew that from the time when the documentary was filmed of course. I was actually asking Susan to cut that scene short because it might affect Lisa, but Susan said that is one of the most powerful scenes that sets up the disconnecting relationship between me and Lisa. But she has been working in Europe for 7 years now, and I am very proud of her now. She is chasing her passion and her dream, and she is exploring her happiness and doing what she loves.”

记者金美翎:“在片中,你们母女吃西瓜争执那一个片段,看起来并不像是在演戏,很逼真啊,你们那个时候是不是真的在发生矛盾?”

剑平:“其实那段没有在演戏,是真的在争吵。苏珊给了我们一些可聊的话题,之后就自然而然地争执起来了,我们当时也就忘记旁边有摄像机了。那一次的话谈的很真,但我女儿夏叶在拍完那一段之后她就有点后悔在镜头里说的气话的。我后来也有点担心那一段会不会影响夏叶的将来。毕竟那个时候夏叶还小,叛逆期时说出来的话并不能代表现在。纪录片是永恒性的,拍完了就会停留在那一瞬间。那个时候我也跟导演苏珊提起过删除那一段以免影响到夏叶的将来,但苏珊说那一段对片中内容和人物发展起着重要的铺垫作用,能够展现出母女两人感情的断联感,所以就保留了那一段。然而现在夏叶已经在欧洲工作并生活了7年多了,一直在追逐着自己的梦想,做着自己喜欢的事情,所以我还是很为她骄傲的。”

Jian Ping added: “She had a strong desire to fit in, because she also had her own struggles in school when we first moved here when she was 4. She has American values, that’s why she mentioned work hard, play hard in the documentary.”

剑平还说:“她4岁就来到美国了,在这个陌生的环境里,她从小在学校里也经历了不少挑战,她一直想方设法去融入这个美国社会,她也有她受过的难处。所以现在她所存在的都是美国年轻人的生存价值观,一直有着‘’努力工作再使劲玩‘的观念。’”

Meiling: “Has her life view changed a lot over the years?”

Jian Ping: “This has a lot to do when she moved to Europe. She proposed to her company to transfer her to the European office, then it happened to her. She prepared herself and continued her education with an MBA, and graduated with honors. Those years in Europe easily changed her a lot, positively. So again, I am very proud of her. She is now in the field of strategy consulting.”

金美翎:“那她现在的生活价值观是不是改变了很多?”

剑平:“她搬去欧洲那几年确实磨炼了她不少。她当时主动跟她的公司提出来想要转到欧洲那一部门去工作,她也想换换工作环境。她是一个非常喜欢环球旅行的人,所以那一次工作调转也算是圆了她的出国旅游梦。她去欧洲后也变得很要强,开始继续进修,获得了工商管理硕士的学位,还拿到了荣誉学位。去欧洲磨炼的这段日子里对她成长帮助非常大,对她我真的是特别为她骄傲。她现在开始从事公司战略顾问了。”

Meiling: “Has the film made an impact on her life?”

Jian Ping: “In terms of impact on her life, I would say it is more of a connection with her family. The very unexpected part of the impact is actually the improvement of our mother-daughter relationship. We have been attending a lot of the film festivals together, and because of the nature of her personality, she enjoys meeting other filmmakers, and meeting people who appreciated our work. I am very surprised the amount of audiences that have been really resonating with our film no matter where they are from. One interesting thing is, no matter what age the audience is at, the first-generation immigration usually connects more with me, and the second-generation connects with Lisa more. When we both were on the stage during the Q&A session, we both heard of each other. It really gave us the best platform – not confronting each other, but listening to each other, and understanding each other.”

金美翎: “那这部影片对她影响大吗?”

剑平:“如果提起对她的影响的话,我觉得还是她对自己的家族了解得更深入些吧。对于我来说最让我意想不到的收获就是我们母女俩之间的感情更深了一些。因为这个纪录片,我们一起参加了很多国际电影节。因为夏叶本人也特别善谈,所以她也喜欢跟很多电影制作人和影迷们一起打交道,见见世面。还有让我非常惊喜的就是这个纪录片也与很多来自世界各地的观众引起共鸣。无论男女老少,大部分第一代移民的影迷们,他们都懂我的心思;而大部分第一代移民的子女们都向着夏叶的心思,感觉跟她产生共鸣的部分更多一些。当我们俩上台面临问答环节时,我们各自都听到了观众的反应,也去用心去理解对方的难处。参加各种国际电影节的这些台上问答的平台确实让我们俩对互访的认知更深入一步。”

Meiling: “If this film never existed, or you never wrote this book, would your mother-daughter relationship pan out differently? And what’s your vision of her as a Chinese living in America?”

Jian Ping: “Without this film, we would be in different positions now. I am sure we would be on different route, since everyone eventually gets older and wiser. The valuable key I have learned really is the communication. Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, we all have learned that we would deal with things internally. During the cultural revolution, for that difficult time, I learned not to burden my family with my own problems, so later on it has became internalized. So, I have never learned how to express myself. That was my approach during the watermelon scene, I used the “silent treatment” during our argument, because in China, things are usually understood between the lines, no need to state the obvious for the commands. However, compared to Lisa, she is more open and straightforward. That really forces me to line up more with her straightforward communications. As for what my expectation is for her, to be honest, I just want her to be happy foremost, then she needs to have a job to have financial independency. Although she mentioned that money is more of a tool, that she wants to spend it after she makes it. But she understands that she never spends beyond her means, so she never has debts, which is great. I think for me, the thing I want to see more of, is the family value. Since in China, we really put the family above everything else. But in American I understand it is more nuclear families, so the family value is not really there.”

金美翎:“如果你从来没有写过这本书,也没有拍过这个电影,你感觉你们母女俩人的感情会不会发展到其它方向?她差不多算是华裔美国人了,那你对你这个在美国生长的中国女儿又是憧憬着什么样的未来呢?”

剑平:“如果没有了这书和影片,我们俩人会走不同之路了,肯定不像现在一样。毕竟我女儿夏叶自己也会慢慢磨炼并走向成熟。现在我更懂得了在母女沟通交流这方面还是非常重要的。我从小在非常传统的中国家庭里成长,因为家里负担太重,自己受苦就要往肚子里咽,所以我也养成了一种不善于表达自己想法的习惯。在片中吃西瓜争执的那会儿,我也是以一个传统中国人的思想来对待的,我当时就没有明确表达,让夏叶转转心眼。在中国文化里,你也知道,很多事情不直说,很多懂规矩的也都明白。可夏叶不一样,毕竟在美国生活那么久,她是一个很直的人,有什么就说什么。这样也促使了我跟她接轨,什么事情也从头到尾讲个明白。对她将来有什么期待?!其实说实话,我想要的很简单。她只要过得快乐,有份稳定的工作,我也就心满意足了。虽然她在片中说过,钱只是个工具,赚了就花,花完再赚,但她确实也对她的经济负担上也很负责,从来没有欠过账。所以在这方面她做得还不错。但对于我来说,我还是希望她能够多想到家人,因为毕竟在中国,我们都说,世界再好,也要回家。我更希望能够看到她在家庭观上能够有改进。在美国都是核心家庭,对待家庭不像中国那样亲。”

Meiling: “Usually both parents are responsible for shaping their kids’ future, but we never seen you mentioned about Lisa’s father, is it something you are trying to avoid intentionally?”

Jian Ping: “Susan told me that my family situation might complicate the whole premise, so we were only focusing on the angle of the relationship between the mother and daughter. My first husband and I grew apart, so we separated, although he fully supported my decision of bringing Lisa here to America. My late husband played a big role in shaping Lisa’s life. So, Susan and I decided to not mentioning about the part of my marriage in the film. However, Lisa always mentions to me that how she appreciates that she got the best of the two worlds, and she is a happy child despite the complication of my marriage.”

金美翎:“一般情况下,能够影响到子女生长的人物都会包括父母两人。但作为观众的我们,从来没有在片中看到夏叶的父亲。请问你是故意这样避开此话题的吗?”

剑平:“苏珊跟我说她觉得我的婚姻生活比较复杂,对于此片来说,把内容重心放到母女感情上才会有看头。我和我的前夫感情疏远了,所以后来就分开了。当时他并没反对我把夏叶带出国,他还很支持。我的第二个丈夫对夏叶的成长帮助还是比较大的。苏珊说我们在影片里就不需要谈起我婚姻上的事情了。虽然如此,夏叶提起说她的童年还是很美好并没有任何遗憾,她也理解感情不一定非要很完美。”

Reporter Meiling: “Since your documentary has a good portion heavily focusing on the China Cultural Revolution, and touched on some sensitive subjects in China, what’s the reaction from China? And there must be lots of considerations you have to give before publishing this book and putting out this documentary, right?”

Jian Ping: “For the film part, I told the whole film crew, that they can make the decision on the creative control of the film. But as for writing the book, it was a very hard decision-making process. Initially I never thought about publishing the book, I only wrote it for Lisa. But when it came to the publishing stage. My brother who lived in the US, his comment made me have second thoughts about publishing, but when I called my mom two days before the publishing date, they convinced me that it won’t be a problem because nowadays, China has changed, and I am writing my own personal story, it shouldn’t affect too much negatively. So, since the book was being published, so far, I am good with how I presented it. As for the film, I do give Susan lots of credit for doing her research to be able to present the film in a very objective way, so that all the audience can make their own conclusion. She doesn’t want to produce a history film, but she wanted to take the angle of the mother-daughter relationship, so she selected some important scenes from my book and presented it in the film.”

记者金美翎:“你的纪录片里谈及到了很多文革的事情,这么敏感的话题,在出版书籍和推出影片前是否也做了很多的考虑?”

剑平:“对于纪录片来说,我把大部分的决定都交给剧组来处理了。但对于出版书来说,确实有很多细节需要考虑周全。一开始我写书只是为了给夏叶看,并没有考虑到出版。但后来在出版的阶段,定居在美国的哥哥一直在劝我出版前要三思,但我给我妈妈打电话后,她说这个毕竟是个纪录片在讲一个真实的故事,并没有任何想要跟中国对抗的心思,所以我妈妈告诉不用担心太多。我感觉在拍戏方面,苏珊确实下了不少功夫,一直在做功课,生怕拍错历史。她深思熟虑,把整个片子的重心放在了母女的关系上。我的书里谈及了很多话题,但苏珊择选了一些精彩部分来完成拍摄。”

Reporter Meiling: “Have you made any attempts to push the books and films out to the Chinese market yet?”

Jian Ping: “Honestly I never tried, because I think China is not ready for this type of content focusing on the Cultural Revolution yet. China is still; ‘don’t show don’t tell’. I have been away from China for so many years, so I am not sure how China handles this yet.”

记者金美翎:“那你有尝试把这书和影片推入中国市场吗?”

剑平:“其实说实话,我从未尝试过,我也不想去尝试。因为我感觉中国还没有到能够接受这种内容的阶段,像这种文革话题的影片,对于中国来说还是比较敏感。所以还没有面向中国观众的想法。”

Reporter Meiling: “As for Northeast China, we have many things that symbolize our culture in our region. Why did you particular choose Mulberry as your title? Anything significant?”

Jian Ping: “I chose the Mulberry tree as the metaphor for resilience. Mulberry is huge in the Chinese silk industry. We didn’t have much entertaining things to do when we were little, and we would play around the Mulberry trees a lot, sometimes we would abuse the trees, and stripe the leaves to feed the silkworm, but then the second year, the flowers and berries were still growing back strong and healthy. That has always impressed me. So later when I moved to Chicago, I started growing Mulberry trees although they were very difficult to find in the American market.

And that’s my connection with the Mulberry tree.”

记者金美翎:“在中国东北我们有很多代表我们当地特色的象征物,当时为什么选桑树来做标题呢?”

剑平:“我选了桑树主要是因为它有修复力的特性。桑树在中国丝绸文化中占很重要的位置。我们小的时候没有什么可以玩的。但每次都会在桑树底下玩耍。我们经常会撸树叶去喂蚕,把树捉弄的不成样子。即使我们经常去‘虐待’桑树,可它每年还是会开花结果,长得还是很结实。因此桑树对于我来说印象特别大。等后来我搬到芝加哥后,即使不容易找到桑树的种子,我还是想办法找到了。我和桑树很结缘,这也是我起名的原因。”

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