SHARON E. LEE
“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
SHARON IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS, AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, my family has been there since 1904. "Yellow Peril" stopped a lot of Chinese entering what was then Rhodesia, so growing up, all the people I knew who looked like me were somehow related to me. There were very few Asian people. I got stared at a lot, cause, you know, I looked different. Race was and is a thing... sticking us all into ill-fitting boxes. Then in the 2000s, China opened up and a lot of Chinese came to Zimbabwe. When I'm home now and I see Asian people... I find myself staring. O_O
Zimbabwe is a beautiful country, with super smart, funny people. It's going through some problems and they're confusing - so many things to balance and sort through from our past. But life there is real and raw and grounding. I feel connected to people and the earth there. People there are really living, caring, suffering, celebrating... all of it. Life isn't so solitary or hidden. It's out in the open with the air and the trees and the clothes drying on the line. It is a country of unending hope and resilience, even in the face of power cuts, water crises and crushing hyper-inflation.
It's also higher up than most places, closer to the clouds. The raindrops are bigger.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I'm not fully sure. The desire to share?
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Riding this roller coaster with talented, kind and energizing people.
Getting to make stuff that's in my head and see what is in other people's.
Watching my classmates' styles blossom.
Breaking and mending stronger.