GIFT is a tribute to something that can’t be measured or counted, bought or sold. Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s beloved book The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, Robin McKenna’s film is a richly cinematic experience, interweaving character-driven stories. Exploring the parallels between artists’ work and a gift economy, it’s a reflection on the creative process, the reasons we “labour in service of our gifts”, and a celebration of the imagination.
On North America’s Pacific Northwest Coast, a young Indigenous man undertakes the elaborate preparations for a potlatch—to establish himself in his community and take on the responsibilities of leadership by giving everything away. In Rome, an abandoned factory occupied by migrant families is transformed into a living museum, protected by a barricade of art: a model of resistance, and an invaluable gift both to the inhabitants and to the city beyond its walls. In the pirate utopia of Burning Man, a mutant bumblebee art-car distributes honey in a post-apocalyptic desert landscape. Meanwhile, in Auckland, New Zealand, artist Mingwei Lee prepares to launch Sonic Blossom – a transformative gift of song.
Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!