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The Wounded Brick film screening in Christchurch

The Wounded Brick film screening in Christchurch

The Wounded Brick (85 minutes // Austria 2012)
25 May 2013 // 6pm
CPIT, DL lecture theatre, Madras Street, CHCH
Admission by koha

Two years before the earthquake hit Christchurch in February 2011, the Italian city of L’Aquila experienced a similar fate, when in the early hours of 6 April 2009 a 6.3 earthquake destroyed the medieval city and nearby villages. Austrian film makers Sue-Alice Okukubo and Eduard Zorzenoni took the events and situation in L’Aquila as the starting point for their film The Wounded Brick. Weaving together interviews with both L’Aquila’s citizens, as well as architects, urban planners and sociologists from Italy, Austria and Germany, the result is what the filmmakers themselves call a cinematic essay contrasting personal accounts with professional opinions.

In the showing of this movie, we want to provide the people of Christchurch with the opportunity to see and hear from people in a similar situation as themselves. Considering the importance of architecture as integral part of everyday life, the screening also valuably contributes to the discussion regarding the rebuild of Christchurch. Whose city is it going to be, and who is to make decisions as to how people will live here in the future? What will be the role of the past and how will it be incorporated in the future?

Okukubo and Zorzenoni acknowledge that this first screening of the film outside Europe is “important as in Christchurch we find a situation very similar to the situation in L`Aquila… We hope the screening of "The Wounded Brick" will contribute to the ongoing discussions in Christchurch about rebuilding the city.”

Although Christchurch and L’Aquila are different in terms of age, size and many other aspects, there are also many similarities, not least how people suffer from the loss of homes and substantial parts of their cities’ architectural heritage. In both cities people are faced with the question of how to rebuild and reinvent their city, which changed so dramatically within seconds.

A large part of L’Aquila’s city centre—the zona rossa—remains closed to the public four years after the event, and the progress of the rebuild is slow. Many people decided to leave altogether, others are still living in temporary accommodation, either newly built or temporarily installed in existing buildings. While those places, located in the outskirts of the city provide new, modern and secure accommodation, people do not feel at home. But this throws up a question about what home is. Can a home be reconstructed? Is it a mere shelter from the elements or the community people live in?

In the film, the people of L’Aquila share with the viewer their experiences during and after the earthquakes, their feelings about what they lost and their hopes for the future. This impression is complemented with the voices of the professionals, who reflect on topics, both relevant to the situation in L’Aquila, but also to the future of cities in general: Who owns a city? What is the role of the inhabitants of a city? What is the importance of public spaces? What is the meaning of housing in modern society? Such questions are also very relevant and important for Christchurch in its current situation.

The screening is organised by Sarah Borree, originally from Germany, who has lived in Christchurch for the last two years. Sarah is trained as an architect and works in the field of architecture education and theory. About to return to Europe, she was determined to bring The Wounded Brick to Christchurch before she leaves and thus contribute to the community she has been a part of.

Sarah says, “When I first heard about the Wounded Brick I immediately thought it should be screened in Christchurch to show people here how others who have been through a similar experience are struggling with the same problems. The film brings together professional knowledge with individual perspectives and expectations, something I find very important to develop architecture and cities that integrate high design standards as well as the desires of its inhabitants.”

The screening is supported by the Goethe-Institut New Zealand (www.goethe.de/nz), CPIT and the Christchurch Centre for Architecture. Thanks to winesale.co.nz there will be a reception after the screening to give people the opportunity to share and discuss their thoughts about the film. To make attendance affordable for everyone, entry to this event is free with donations welcome to cover all costs involved. Any profits will go to Gap Filler.

For further information or images please visit the film’s website www.thewoundedbrickfilm.com

ENDS

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