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La Biennale di Venezia

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Cinema

Reeducated

Venice VR Expanded

Director:
Sam Wolson, Ben Mauk, Nicholas Rubin, Matt Huynh
Production:
The New Yorker (Soo-Jeong Kang, Monica Racic), Dirt Empire (Nicholas Rubin)
Running Time:
20’
Language:
English
Country:
USA, Kazakhstan
Year:
2021
Main Cast:
Erbaqyt Otarbai, Orynbek Koksebek, Amanzhan Seituly
Sound:
Jon Bernson
Platform:
Oculus & Viveport
Devices:
HTC Vive/Vive Pro/Pro 2 Oculus Rift/Rift S/Quest w/link Oculus Quest 1/Quest 2 Valve Index
Project development:Ben Mauk, Sam Wolson
Directed by:Sam Wolson
Artist:Matt Huynh
Research and reporting:Ben Mauk
Lead animator and technical supervisor:Nicholas Rubin
Senior editor:Brian Redondo
Lead compositor and color grading:Noel Paul
VFX artist:Eddy Moya
Titles design:Maxx Berkowitz, Sandra Garcia
Animation studio:Dirt Empire
Ink bleed:Matvey Rezanov
Artist assistant:M. J. Steele

Synopsis

Reeducated takes viewers inside one of Xinjiang’s “reeducation” camps, guided by the recollections of three men—Erbaqyt Otarbai, Orynbek Koksebek, and Amanzhan Seituly—who were imprisoned together at a facility in Tacheng. Over the past several years, government authorities have turned Xinjiang, the largest region in China, into one of the most advanced police states in the world. In the spring of 2017, officials began imprisoning thousands of predominantly Muslim minorities in secret extrajudicial detention camps. By 2018, as many as a million people were held in a vast network of detention centers. It is likely the largest internment of ethnic and religious minorities since the Second World War. In December, 2019, just before the global Covid-19 lockdown, the reporter Ben Mauk, the film director Sam Wolson, and the artist Matt Huynh flew to Kazakhstan to interview Otarbai, Koksebek, and Seituly. Drawn from firsthand testimony, survivor sketches, and satellite photos, the VR film uses pen-and-brush illustration, brought to life by the animator Nicholas Rubin, and spatial audio, composed by Jon Bernson, to reconstruct the men’s shared experiences in an immersive three-dimensional space.

Directors' Statement

Reeducated brings viewers inside a Xinjiang prison camp, reconstructed from the memories of three former detainees. To create the film, Orynbek Koksebek, Erbaqyt Otarbai, and Amanzhan Seituly, all ex-prisoners of the camp who are now living outside China, shared testimony about the facility, describing in detail everything from their daily schedules and experiences of torture to the distance between beds. The artist Matt Huynh brought their recollections to life in stark, evocative pen-and-ink drawings, which were then assembled into three-dimensional spaces. Ben Mauk and I are grateful for our three subjects and the team of creators who made this film possible.

producers/distributors

PRODUCTION 1: Soo-Jeong Kang, Monica Racic – The New Yorker
1 World Trade Center
10007 – New York, United States of America
natalie_raabe@newyorker.com
http://www.newyorker.com

PRODUCTION 2: Nicholas Rubin – Dirt Empire
1 World Trade Center
10007 – New York, United States of America
Tel. +1 24841374543
nicholas@dirtempire.tv
http://www.dirtempire.tv/

PRESS OFFICE: Sam Wolson
Tel. +1 248 413 7113
mr.wolson@gmail.com


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