Throughout the world, hostility and resentment against the USA on the media has become almost a daily part of life, not only on TV or in newspapers but also in documentaries and narrative films. The unstoppable chain of violence, contradictory social issues, conflicting ideologies, never-ending wars,... these are always spoken in the context of the gaps between races, cultures, and religions. Often it seems that today’s works of cinema perpetuate one side of these conflicts rather than explore ways to promote understanding of our differences.
Is there anything else cinema can do besides reaffirming the acrimony of our world on celluloid? Rather than describing human beings in the frame of power politics, cultural clashes, or religious conflicts, there should be films which blur and subvert those superficial gaps and differences.
In Monument Valley, Utah, the traditional homeland of Western movies, three people from Pakistan, Japan, and a local American trailer park meet through mishaps and discover each other’s humanity. The beautiful landscape of South West -- an eternal sky spread over solemn & peaceful rock formations -- produces an abstract cosmos in which the three people face each other in the purest manner.
Big River is a metaphor of America. As tiny currents gather together to become the Rio Grande, people feed into America from all over the world. The title also reflects my aspiration to make a profound but simple film as the cannon of Western films used to do.
In the eyes of many across the world, America has reverted to the wild, wild West of its violent past. People throw suspicious gazes at each other, judge by appearance, and eventually attack each other’s beliefs. In this dark, hostile era is the only option left for us to live in solitude? Is there something else we can expect? It is my hope that this film opens up a new future for our thinking.