Sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts
Blissville...An Investigation. is a video about a remote and overlooked corner of Queens, NY. (1 Hr )
Blissville is the former name of the town, of about eighty houses - a triangle cut off by physical barriers from the rest of the city. In addition to the world's largest fortune cookie factory; there is a factory with the exclusive rights for making replicas of the Statue of Liberty; a sushi factory, an Afghan bakery, and a giant car crusher. Through street interviews video maker Hank Linhart investigates the origin of the name of Blissville, and the character(s) of the town.
Along the way we discover a nearby Romani village in the 1930's. The village was the largest gathering of Romani in the US and was known as the "Gypsy Ellis Island". The village was razed to make way for a highway to the 1939 World's Fair.
Through its dynamic mix of residents and industry Blissville is extremely rich in nationalities, many people on the first rung of immigration. The video is about the tapestry of daily life and the resiliency of a small town in shadows of midtown Manhattan. The vitality of the town speaks to small towns everywhere. Blissville is more of a ‘docu / poem’ than a documentary.( Running time 59:52 - copyright 2017).
The accompanying website encourages the audience to share stories, pictures and video of their town.
Hank Linhart is a media artist who lives in Brooklyn and formerly taught video at NYU, SVA, and Pratt Institute. Previously, he co - produced Fearful Visitation an experimental documentary about the 1904 General Slocum Disaster in NYC harbor,which until 9 / 11 was New York’s largest disaster. The video premiered at the NY Historical Society and was aired on several PBS stations.