Project
Wisdom Gone Wild (2022)
Directed by Rea Tajiri
Feature Documentary
TRT: 84:00


Synopsis

In this immersive meditation on elder consciousness and the act of caregiving a parent with dementia, filmmaker Rea Tajiri centers her mother’s storytelling wisdom as the spine for this film. In an experiential rather than linear narrative, Rose’s renditions of the popular songs of her era provide the soundtrack for time travel as we witness her evolution across nine decades of living. The negotiating of past, present, parenting and being parented, and the desire to reinvent one's own life when you can't remember - are reflected upon in this story of aging, loss, mortality and transformation.


Insight

This is one of my favourite projects to date, as my auntie created this beautiful film. Our direction for the score was to create a minimalistic ambiance that would support the story and represents its characters without dictating the emotional content of the scenes for the viewer. We decided to keep the music melodically sparse, opting for soundscapes and textures which would open up into ‘altered states of consciousness.’ Because of the film's personal nature, I wanted to interweave contributions of the characters into the score. We collected old family recordings (e.g. Brion’s percussion tracks) and recorded Rose’s personal objects (e.g. meditation bell, teapot, purse zipper). These sounds became the musical foundation of the score, which I sampled, reworked and warped to create the film's soundscapes and polyrhythmic percussion pieces. Besides these elements I used cello and other acoustic instruments to give the music an earthy character.


Awards & Recognition

2023 Broadcasted on PBS' POV (Season 36)
2023 Nominated for a Buma Music In Media New Talent Award
2023 New Cinema Award, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick-upon-Tweed
2022 International Premiere at IDFA, International Competition, Amsterdam
2022 Audience Award, Blackstar Film Festival, Philadelphia
2022 Honorable Mention, Jury Award, Blackstar Film Festival, Philadelphia
2022 Best Documentary Feature Award, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Philadelphia
2022 Audience Award ‘Best Documentary Feature’, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, Philadelphia
2022 NYC Premiere at DOCNYC, American Lives, New York City


Credits
Director/Producer: Rea Tajiri
Producer: Sian Evans
Cinematography: Christian Bruno, Dru Mungai, Rea Tajiri, Ann Kaneko, Oscar Molina
Editor: Catherine Hollander
Composer: Shakuru Tajiri
Opening & Closing Theme: Steve Espinola
Percussion Tracks: Brion Tajiri
Cello Tracks: Raiden Dekoter
Sound: Gisela Fullà Silvestre