Qiu Miaojin. Édouard Lévé. Leslie Cheung. My friend Victor. They chose to die, and I could not understand why. Were they so full of despair, they could no longer bear life?
Maria Elena's story came out of my desire to reckon with this decision, and to inspire a different one. I believe people should look to the changing seasons. Every year, winter brings frost and death—and every year, it is followed by the bloom of spring and new hope.
Life is full of pain, and life is full of beauty. I hope to encourage people to see the beauty alongside the pain. SORA is concerned with the existence of people from all walks of life, who make up the fabric of NYC. It captures the moments of joy and connection that keep us all going, especially in times of suffering. The film also depicts the beauty of Brazilian zouk music and dance, which I have come to embrace as a dancer myself.
As a Chinese-American female filmmaker with an appreciation for different cultures, I have a strong desire to create stories that bring people together. SORA celebrates diversity, and the bonds we share, instead of the lines that divide us. This film is for all those who feel lost and in despair—to inspire them to persevere, with the aid of hope, beauty, and human connection.