又例如本地年輕導演葉文希的《飲食法西斯》，在本地社會運動各式議題刀光劍影的僵局裡，以一個虛構的名廚，以烹調和廣義的食物生產為線索，道出一則當代城市寓言，旱地拔蔥擲地有聲，可稱怪傑。與這部短片同場放映的是探討美國當今基因改造生物（和食品）議題的《GMO OMG》，我們便找了年輕媽媽Echo Wong分享她在當下不清不楚的食品系統中「濕疹小孩家長的困境」（改裝Michael Pollen名著《雜食者的兩難》）。Echo不是甚麼「營養」或「飲食」達人，她只是一個盡責而不甘妥協的家長，為了替女兒找吃了不敏感的新鮮食品和飲食方式，我們才會相遇於生活館的周日菜檔。第一場放映的地點，是大埔近一兩年越來越觸目和有意思，同時絕對不失踏實和專注的生活書院。本年生活館也認識了一位鄰居街坊梁祖堯Joey，他本身當然是著名的舞台劇演員，同時也是烹飪狂熱份子。《GMO OMG》第二場放映，便有幸得Joey慷慨借出工作室，除了看電影，觀眾還可以看他巧手烹調生活館的新鮮出產。
都市農場抗爭紀錄片《The Garden》，講述一個全世界可能最富裕的城市—洛杉磯—一班可能最被剝奪者的故事。事件表面上是老掉牙的拆遷和官商勾結，但當事發地是在一個說不定是許多人的夢想城市時，農業馬上立體地還原現代生活一個無法迴避的組成部份。同場還有台灣蕃茄劇組的短片《有米真好》。放映地點是土瓜灣的「土家」，一個關注城市規劃及基層（包括不同少數族裔）城市權利的社區團體。當然要提的還有灣仔富德樓「艺鵠」，這兩屆有種電影節的重要伙伴，今年的開幕電影《The Symphony of the Soil》、簡單開幕式和映後分享都會在艺鵠發生。今年和去年的分別只是，今年她們有自己的天台菜園，除了生活館「遠」自元朗的蔬菜，大家有機會一嚐真箇「零距離」（又或最多二十級樓梯）的食物真味。
The 2nd Food & Farming Film Festival
Never take soil for granted
By Chow Sze Chung (Curator of the Food & Farming Film Festival) / Translated by: Chan Yani
Funding, manpower and experience might be lacking, but last year's 1st Food & Farm Film Festival (FFFF) was a success with an overwhelming turnout. Co-organised by local farm initiative Sangwoodgoon and veteran independent movie organisation Ying E Chi, FFFF attracted over 50 people to each screening. Our conclusion: the seeming popularity of our humble screening programme reflects how lacking our city is, in terms of activities that bring food, agriculture and food communities to the foreground. Such gatherings bring people together to feel, to respond and to contemplate. This reason is suffice, indispensable indeed, for us to organise the 2nd FFFF.
This year, we make our selections not only to echo with the UN International Year of Soils 2015, but also to convey the message that soils do not breed vivid lives by default. Without the primary producers' labour and toil; the farmers' dedicated, nature-informed decision-making; or the time necessary for sedimentation and fermentation, science that enables us to launch a rocket to the moon is ultimately futile. In other words, the general lack of concern over soil, ecosystem, and agriculture in Hong Kong is not some kind of objective and generally accepted backdrop or a pre-determined condition. We are merely at half time and the final result of the match has yet to be settled. A halftime break, with substitutions, pertinent strategies and even cheering fans could be the key to turning the tides.
In fact, each of our post-screening activities bears a different fruit of FFFF's and Sangwoodgoon's slow growth. The closing screening, "The Wages of Resistance: Narita Stories", documents Otsu Koshiro (cinematographer of Sanrizuka series by towering Japanese documentary director Shinsuke Ogawa) revisiting the Narita Airport protesters 40 years after the movement. It is a testimony of the resistant belief being lived out in everyday practice for decades. The screening will take place in Choi Yuen Village, which is finally close to completion 5 years after the Anti-High Speed Rail Movement (while the construction of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Express Rail Link drags on, unsurprisingly with a budget crisis). There will also be a food and arts market with stories, live music and munchies, a perfect excuse for an early Lunar New Year gathering. Be it local agriculture advocates or anti-high speed rail comrades, it's time for old and new friends to visit the villagers again.
Young local director Yip Man-hay's Food Fascist, for example, is a contemporary fable which addresses cooking and food production in a broad sense with a fictional cooking master. It serves as an insightful remark of the modern city amid the deadlock of various social movements vying for attention. The short film will be screened alongside GMO OMG, which taps into the issue of genetically-modified organisms (and food) in the US. We are glad to have Echo Wong, to share about the "parents' dilemma with child eczema" (tribute to Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma). Echo is no nutrition or food expert, but a responsible parent fumbling her way through the obscure food system. In search of a non-allergic diet for her daughter,
Echo became a friend of Sangwoodgoon through our Sunday farmers' market. The first screening of the film will take place in the School of Everyday Life, a budding hub for meaningful exchange in Tai Po in recent years. This year, Sangwoodgoon also acquainted with dear friend and neighbour Joey Leung. Not only is he a renowned theatre performer, he is also a fanatic cook. Joey has generously made his studio the venue for the second screening of GMO OMG, where the audience will enjoy the film as well as a few delicious dishes he prepares from the fresh produce of Sangwoodgoon.
The Garden is a documentary about the resistance of urban farming at Los Angeles. Probably the wealthiest city in the world is also home to a group of people who are the most disenfranchised. The plot is a theme we are all too familiar with: forced evacuation and collusion between business and government. But when this happens in a place where people come for dreams, agriculture immediately brings into focus the interconnectedness of agriculture in our modern society. Immediately following The Garden, is Pure Land, an independent film by Taiwan's Tomato Film group. The films will be screened at ToHome, a community organisation in To Kwa Wan which is concerned with urban planning and grassroots rights (including that of ethnic minorities). A very important feature is also ACO in Foo Tak Building, Wanchai, which has been an important partner of FFFF these two years. It is also where a simple opening ceremony, screening and post-event sharing of The Symphony of the Soil will take place. The only difference between last year and this year is, the audience will be able to try their rooftop produce literally "zero distance (at most 20 flights of stairs away)" from farm to table, apart from the Sangwoodgoon veggies from Yuen Long.
Last but not least (drum roll!) is the outdoor screening of Magino Village: A Tale at SoIL (Society for Indigenous Learning), Sheung Shui. Four years ago, the Sangwoodgoon family had the pleasure to watch the decade-spanning masterpiece on the silver screen at Ying E Chi's Shinsuke Ogawa Retrospective. In the first half of this 3-hour-45-minute film, the way in which the Ogawa team recorded in vivid details the environment, farming methods and botanic features of their rice fields as if it were a pop-science documentary left everyone in awe. This is the fifth year of rice-planting for Sangwoodgoon, SoIL also have a continuous flow of produce this year. In the name of rice, let's start a campfire in the starry night and indulge our senses in agriculture.
And so you have it, the list of this year's Food & Farm Film Festival screening programme. We hope to draw a crowd, but more importantly, is to present and explore the infinite possibilities of agriculture and food as an organisational vehicle for concepts, tastes and human relationships. May films, audience, farms, organisations and food connect with each other, nourish local soil and substantiate its meanings as well as associations in the second half of the difficult but necessary uphill battle for Hong Kong, agriculture and development.