Ancestries

Short Film

An Asian man worships and then seduces a faceless Caucasian man while singing an aria from Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns. Their bodies tell discordant stories of identity and desire; each is imbued with a unique symbolic valuation regarding occupation and dominance. The vocalist’s brilliant rendition of the aria further compounds his performance: it is both empirically successful, and a radical reframing of intention. The film operates in the liminal space where bodies are colonized or empowered, as their naked figures relay postcolonial messages of power between themselves. This power dynamic occupies the artists, the music, and the screen space itself, taking our meaning-making facilities hostage and penetrating each performer’s own curatorial agency.