‘Chinaski (a meditaiton on grief)’
“Chinaski” is a short film that comes at you from every direction. It’s a trip. NICK (26) has just lost his father. It was a quiet funeral. His Father wasn’t a popular man, in fact, he was a crude and selfish man. He had been in prison for most of Nick’s childhood and outside of prison he was just as distant and difficult to read. It was a complicated family life; which is why no one wanted to speak at the funeral.
Nick spoke though.
He struggles through it but he decides it’s his last opportunity to make peace with his father. Nick approaches the alter and recites “Throwing away the alarm clocks”. A stark and painfully revealing poem written by Charles Bukowski. The poem reveals Bukowski’s rejection of his father’s lifestyle as a rebellion to his relationship with him. It’s his fight against the mundane and pedestrian and his own search for meaning in the people he meets.
As Nick reads the poem we see a vivid and kaleidoscopic montage of his life surrounding the death of his father. The euphoric, fast paced and at times frightening series of images piece together Nick’s experience of his grief. Married with the poem we play out scenes of Nick’s final interaction with his living father. We experience the abuse he puts himself through. Enjoying the dizzying, sensual and colourful highs and the crippling, isolating lows. We witness a young man desperate to cling onto something permanent. Taking to psychedelics in a naive sense of contact with something higher than himself. In search of an understanding. We see his violent outbursts with friends and loved ones. We see the joy and comfort Nick’s friends provide him and we see that amongst the chaos, that, at its root of the mayhem is someone looking for connection. The images reflect and at times juxtapose Bukowski’s pros to create a surreal, uncaged and intense short film. As Nick finishes the poem we find ourselves back in the crematorium, as Nick reflects on his grief and steps down from the podium.