Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window @ SXSW – Visions Section

This is a different type of “my heart is broken and I need a change to help repair it”. First of all Andrew Hevia’s (Rising Tide: A Story of Miami Artists) film is a documentary rather than your typical rom com and second, whatever his initial goals for the film were, it turns into an examination of globalization and navigating the world on your own – being alone due to moving and language/culture barriers.

Hevia, who had just recently broken up with his girlfriend, decides to travel to Hong Kong to make a documentary, on a Fullbright grant, about the well known international art fair known as Art Basel. Nothing, from the get go, goes well. He feels lost in this large city, his heart is broken and he even gets lost in a shopping mall. As for the Hong Kong edition of Art Basel, he is not doing any better there. Out of his depth and not really prepared (what his goal/subject for the original film was is never clear) sets him out of the gate on wrong foot. The American artist he is meant to get to know and be his main link into Art Basel rejects him. Plan B is using a local artist, but that does not pan out either. Instead of giving up Hevia decides to make himself the subject of this documentary. That is thinking on your feet!

Now Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window becomes a rather personal piece. It is an examination of a human who is totally lost in life searching for himself. At times funny while others poignant. You just want to hug him when it becomes apparent that his only form of human connection is with migrant workers (mostly Filipino) who seems to spend their time in or on boxes on the street. This lack of human contact must make him feel even more hopeless and lost. The apartment he is living in that is like the size of a closet doesn’t help things or the feeling he sinks into of dejected isolation.

Human behaviour and existence is up front and center in almost every frame of the 68 minutes of the film. An example of this is the idea of how people describe themselves and how they actually behave. One artist tells Andrew he is an introvert then proceeds to be very outgoing with people at Art Basel.

It seems especially personal, except for the funny touch of having the narrator being a computer generated female voice, and like he is undergoing a therapy session with all the tea about his life that is spilled here. Very raw and emotional at times.

An offshoot of his filming everything he comes in contact with becomes part of it. Like the city of Hong Kong. A nice introduction to it for those of us who have not been there. Architecturally interesting, that is for sure.

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