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Film Festival
of Navarra
Film Festival
of Navarra

home  |   2022 edition  |  official selection  |  programmes  |  to pick a flower
To Pick a Flower

Country: Philippines
Year: 2021
Duration: 16'
Projection format: DCP
Colour: Colour and B&W
Language: English
Direction: Shireen Seno
Editor: Shireen Seno
Sound: Shireen Seno
Production: Shireen Seno, John Torres

Selected filmography: To Pick a Flower (2021), Nervous Translation (2018), Big Boy (2012).

Open City Documentary Festival, New York Film Festival, DOK Leipzig.

Spanish premiere 

"During my investigation, I found the photo of a young bride posing outdoors for a portrait, but instead of the groom, a plant was by her side." A slightly broken voice-over describes the photo that we can see on screen. Indeed, a young girl in her wedding gown is posing alongside a plant. The next still shown is very similar to the first: another woman posing alongside another plant. However, this time, it is not so clear whether she is a bride. As in the first case, the voice-over once more describes the woman. These two photos are part of the archival photographs from the American colonial occupation of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 and the voice is Shireen Seno’s, the film director. Her voice accompanies the entire film, whose starting point is the interest in the relationship between plants and humans. Balete, Eucalyptus, Molave, Salingbobog, Tamarind. Different plants of the Philippines photographed, many at the side of a white settler dressed in white and “similar to Kentucky Fried Chicken”, in the words of the author. In other photos, beside the plants Philippine people are depicted with more humble clothing and always working. From her initial interest in the predatory attitude of human beings in relation to nature, the investigation gradually leads us to reflect on colonial capitalism in the Philippines and on photography itself. The filmmaker recounts how a friend told her that taking a photograph is like picking a flower. "It's pretty and you'd like to pick it but, at the same time, you're killing it. The camera allows us to cross this narrow line between life and death.”

Lur Olaizola

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes AudiovisualesAcción Cultural EspañolaPlan de Recuperación, Transformación y ResilienciaFinanciado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU
With the support of
Ayuntamiento de PamplonaCentro de Arte Contemporáneo de HuarteFundación Caja NavarraGoethe InstitutCanadá InternationalCasa ÁrabeCineteca MadridAsociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios AudiovisualesInstitut FrançaisEmbajada de Portugal en MadridCamões - Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua Portugal
Member of
PantallaIberofestLa MestaThe Red Balloon
Filmoteca de Navarra
Museo Oteiza
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola
Festival de Cine Africano FCAT
Festival Scope
Centre Cinématographique Marocain
Hotel Tres Reyes
Hotel Maisonave
Cineteca Bologna
The Film Foundation
World Cinema Project
Cinemateca Portuguesa
Radio 3
Filmoteca Española
Festivals in Navarre
Punto de Vista
NIFF - Navarra International Film Festival
Navarra, tierra de cine
Ópera Prima
CTL 59
#LabMeCrazy! Science Film Festival
Festival de Cine y Dentistas
Horror Online Art
FICBE (Festival Internacional de Cortos de Berriozar)
FAN, Festival de Anime de Navarra
Lo que viene
Muestra de cine español
Filmmaking for social change
Muestra Internacional de Cine y Mujeres de Pamplona

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