Join us for a screening of the Waiting for Bekir, directed by Jennifer Crystal Chien. Q&A to follow, and music by Elliot Racine.
Waiting for Bekir is a documentary art film about a Turkish immigrant to the US who dreams of becoming a Hollywood action film director, meeting women, and finding peace of mind. Despite some success in his work as an information technology professional, Bekir is looking for what else may be fulfilling. We witness his life as it unfolds and experience the sensations of dreaming, waiting, procrastinating, and acceptance. This self-aware film also engages in experiments with the structure of film and the process of making documentaries. The film's title is a variation on the post-modern play, Waiting for Godot.
The film attempts to deconstruct a stereotypical image of a middle class Asian immigrant who comes to the US for education but finds himself drawn by other dreams beyond what is practical. The film creates an experience for the audience of spending time with the main characters, rather than educating the audience from the perspective of large important social issues. Bekir's story arcs are small, intimate, and about his daily life and ambitions, in which nothing much seems to happen, yet his life continues to unfold and progress, and unpredictable things do happen. The film's unfolding is meant to invoke a sense of wandering to provoke the question, "Why are we waiting?"
On another level, the film is about the process and language of making documentaries; it's about the nature of the filmmaker-subject relationship, what is real and what is constructed, the perceptions of oneself as the subject or filmmaker, self-awareness in this increasingly social media savvy society, and what is intentional and what is unintentional.
"I really loved your film!"
– Wesley Shrum, Director of Ethnografilm Festival
"Bekir ... is an intriguing, elusive subject."
– Chris Boeckmann, Programmer of True/False Film Festival
Elliot Racine is an experimental avant-garde composer and musician based in California. Elliot’s approach to music is characterized by his endless curiosity and openness to inspiration from all corners. Propelled by wild explorations and a wide array of influences, Elliot’s music crosses borders and defies expectations.
Elliot’s primary instrument is the bass, but he is also a vocalist, guitarist, electronic composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Equally adept at penning clever lyrics for a shambling folksong, improvising a funky bass line, and composing a somber solo for distorted piano, Elliot tries on many styles and synthesizes many traditions in his music.
While Elliot’s sound is solidly rooted in American traditions of rock, blues, folk, funk, and jazz, elements of world music also inform his songwriting. His songs subtly incorporate polyrhythms, drone, and exotic instrumentation into more traditional western structures.
As a student at Berklee College of Music, Elliot supplemented his performance and composition studies with courses in ethnomusicology, and has since participated in Lark Camp World Music Workshops and traveled to Ghana to study percussion and dance traditions of the Ewe and Dagara peoples.
The result of this dynamic combination of influences is a collection of wholly unique songs. No one Elliot Racine track is like another. Some of his songs are jazzy, freeform horn and percussion jams. Some are dreamy guitar landscapes full of echo and reverb. Some are classically styled American folksongs. Some songs swell with trumpets and flutes, some are compositions for solo acoustic guitar. Some are loud and rocking, others ethereal and droning. But what all of Elliot’s songs have in common is their intimate spirit. Regardless of the style, his music is always immediately relatable. Personal lyrics, elements of improvisation, and raw production values combine to create a down-to-earth, visceral listening experience.