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Your Day is My Night
Fri 19 Apr 2013 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Your Day is My Night




PLEASE NOTE: Advance ticket sales for tonight's screening are now offline. Tickets will be available at the box office, which opens 1 hour prior to the screening.



In this captivating hybrid documentary shot in New York, director Lynne Sachs utilizes the bed as both starting and focal point for inquiry into the personal and collective experiences of a household of immigrants living in a “shift-bed” apartment in Chinatown. Initially documented in Jacob Riis’ controversial photography of the late 19th century, a shift-bed is a bed that is shared or rented in several-hour increments by people who are neither in the same family nor in a relationship. Since the advent of tenement housing in the Lower East Side, working class people have shared beds, making such spaces a definable and fundamental part of immigrant life. Over a century later, the shift-bed remains a necessity for many, triggered by socio-economic barriers embedded within the urban experience.

Seven characters ranging in age from 58 to 78 play themselves through autobiographical monologues, verité conversations and theatrical movement pieces. retired seamstresses Ellen Ho and Sheut Hing Lee recount growing up in china during the turmoil of the 1950s when their families faced violence and separation under Chairman Mao’s revolutionary yet authoritarian regime. Yun Xiu Huang, a nightclub owner from Fujian province, reveals his journey to the United States through the “snakehead” system, a complex underground economy of human smuggling.

With each “performance” of their present, the characters illuminate the joys and tragedies of their past, as well as the challenges of contemporary life in New York. As the bed transforms into a stage, the film reveals a collective history of Chinese immigrants in the United States, a story not often documented. The intimate cinematography and sound design suggest dreams and memories of the performers, inviting the audience into a community often considered closed to non-Chinese speakers. Through it all, Your Day is My Night addresses issues around privacy, intimacy, otherness, belonging and the urban experience via the basic human need of a place to sleep.


Your Day is My Night
Lynne Sachs
(2013, 64 min, Video, USA)