The Cancer Journals Revisited
Film-maker Lana Lin examines Audre Lorde’s Cancer Journals, also from the point of view of her own experience of breast cancer. Together with many other participants in the project, she reads Lorde’s book from queer of colour perspectives, reenacting her thoughts and their relevance for all individuals. The film is an emphatic record of how we deal with bodies, pain and finality. The film is a polyvocal projection of the experiences Lorde describes in her journals, giving expression to the many different aspects of life with the illness and preoccupation with mortality. Visually, Lana Lin always finds new images. She makes associations and experiments in her filmic interpretation of Lorde’s writing. On this level, too, the film succeeds in relating the past and present to each other. Equally, the film is an autobiographical work, its starting point being the film-maker’s own personal experience. She contributes her experience to a collective understanding by connecting it to Lorde’s experiences and to her protagonists. Mechanisms of social exclusion in the form of misogyny and racism are reflected in the treatment of illness and death. The central issue here is the way bodies are dealt with as vulnerable bodies, bodies, however, which should not be visible as such.
Lana Lin is a film-maker, artist, and writer based in New York. She has been making experimental films since the 1990s. Her work examines the fragilities and contradictions of human and discursive bodies, emphasising the conceptual and poetic capacities of moving image media. Since 2001, she has collaborated on multi-disciplinary research-based projects (as Lin + Lam) that explore the contingencies of history and collective memory. Her films and art have been shown at international venues including International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Images Festival, Toronto, Taiwan International Documentary Festival, London Film Festival, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, the New Museum, NY and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Films by Lana Lin
Moby Ovary or Madame Dick 2015 | Mysterial Power 2002 | No Power to Push Up the Sky 2001 | Taiwan Video Club 1999 | Almost the Cocktail Hour 1997 | Stranger Baby 1995 | Mizu Shobai (Water Business) 1993 | I Begin to Know You 1992 | Through the Door 1992 | Sphere:Circle:Round 1992