“On the Christmas Eve of 2021, with my family across the ocean and my closest friends in quarantine, I wandered on the dark streets alone and thought about the story I was working on, Pier 35. I wrote the story after interviewing Chinatown seniors — including Margaret, our lead cast. That evening, however, made me wonder if the story is really about me, about everyone, about the inevitable loneliness we all face in life.
In some sense, the protagonist’s loneliness is not about her family not being able to join her for dinner, nor is it about the dancers each leaving her and returning to their own families. Rather, the loneliness she faces is shared by all of us, regardless of age, gender, race, or life circumstances. And the question I hope to ask through this film is, how do we live with this ineluctable and universal loneliness?
Our protagonist always tries her best to connect with others, and when left alone, she smiles and walks on. There is an energy within her that carries her on through the loneliness of life. It comes from her genuine effort, partly through her dance and teaching, to immerse herself in something bigger than her immediate life circumstances. And, I somehow thought, that this transcendental energy is what warms us on wintry nights, as we stargaze through the window, at something so deep and distant that it breaks our heart and then scatters it as stardust.”
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