The Rose Foundation had its 2nd Wild & Scenic Film Festival on April 25 at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. The night was fun with silent auctions, giveaways, good conversations and, of course, inspiring short films.
All of the films are very refreshing, but my favorite is Marie's Dictionary. Directed by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, the film traces how the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language, Marie, creates a dictionary to keep her language alive. I like it because when we think about protecting the environment, we almost always focus on creating green spaces, conserving water, or recycling waste. While all these are vital to protecting the environment, we often forget that we're losing cultures that are equally precious.
How Marie teaches her grandson Wukchumni reminds me how I don't speak the language of my own grandmother. Because she is trilingual, I've only spoken to her in English and Cantonese. The third language--her native tongue--is completely foreign to me. I've only heard her speaking it once or twice with my great aunt. When my great aunt passed away, the language died with her: there's no one left in our family my grandmother can speak to in her language.
I'm glad to see how people use their creativity to put forth such great messages and provoke the community to reflect on their relation to the environment. I'm also very proud to intern at Viscera, which donated to the silent auction in order to support the Rose Foundation and its youth program New Voices Are Rising.