Dir: Julia Kwan | BC Spotlight | Canada | 2013 | 85 minutes
Are you ever curious about the faces you pass by as you walk around the city? And wonder about the story of the person living in a run down building, sitting outside a produce store, or lingering in the streets?
Julia Kwan’s Everything Will Be is an intimate portrayal of the inhabitants of Vancouver’s Chinatown: theirs is a story of change, constant and imminent. From the longtime inhabitant who’s served up steamed bun for decades, to the artist recently taking up residence, the faces of Chinatown become a colourful, candid, contemplative, and sometimes melancholic cast of characters grappling with a reality: “in five years, it is fated that Chinatown will be almost gone.”
As we watch the neighbourhood’s activities from sunrise to dusk, day-to-day, individual stories are effortlessly weaved into a pensive narrative. Kwan captures the sense of community that comes with a century of history just as well as she does the burgeoning new developments by unorthodox Chinatown residents, trepidatiously making their place. The tension and the negotiation between the traditional and the new is resonant throughout.
The omnipresent public art piece, “everything is going to be alright,” commissioned as part of a restoration project, is at the centre of the major questions raised by the film. While the “old Chinatown” no longer exists, how do we preserve history, culture, and community with authenticity as the “new Chinatown” finds its identity? Is it enough for new developments to make references to tradition, while the traditional community is being displaced? And perhaps, more generally, in a transient world in which change is constant, what will endure?
Schema Magazine is proud to be the community sponsor of the screenings of Everything Will Be at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival.