Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Director: Robin McKenna
Music composed by: Serge Nakauchi Pelletier
Producers: Robin McKenna, Ina Fichman
Cinematography: Nicolas Canniccioni, Mark Ellam
Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s beloved classic The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, GIFT is a richly cinematic film, interweaving character‐driven stories. On North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast, a young indigenous man undertakes the elaborate preparations for a potlatch – to make a name for himself by giving everything away. In Rome, Italy, a factory occupied by migrant families is transformed into a living museum, protected by a barricade of art : a model of resistance, and an invaluable gift. In the pirate utopia of Burning Man, a mutant bumblebee art car distributes honey in a post-apocalyptic desert landscape. Meanwhile, in Auckland, New Zealand, artist Lee Mingwei prepares to launch Sonic Blossom – a “transformative gift” of song.
The Gift, chronicles gift-based cultures from around the world. A tribute to the value of creativity in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. GIFT is a tribute to something that can’t be measured or counted, bought or sold. Exploring the parallels between artists’ work and a gift economy, it’s a reflection on the creative process, the reasons we “labour in service of our gifts”.
Festivals: World Premiere – Le FiFA 2018; Cinequest 2019; Transitions Film Festival 2019; DocuDays Documentary Film Festivals 2019; Wexford Documentary Film Festival 2020
Check out Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein and his course, Living in the Gift to explore this subject in depth.
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