As she made history as the first female director of color to win an Oscar for Best Director category, Chloe Zhao inspired the viewers to “hold onto the goodness in each other” during the 2021 Academy Awards at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on Monday, April 26 (Sunday, April 25 in the US).
Zhao started her speech by thanking the entire Nomadland team for a “once-in-a-lifetime journey.”
“I have been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard. And I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid,” she said.
The Chinese-born filmmaker recalled memorizing classic Chinese poems with her dad when she was growing up. “There’s one I remember so dearly, it’s called ‘The Three Character Classic,’” Zhao then recited a Chinese text that translates to “People, at birth, are inherently good.”
“Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid,” Zhao continued. “And I still truly believe them today, even though sometimes it may seem like the opposite is true. But I have always found goodness in the people I met – everywhere I went in the world.”
Zhao then dedicated her Oscars win to “anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and to hold onto the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that.”
“This is for you, you inspire me to keep me going,” she said.
Zhao echoed the same sentiment in her acceptance speech for Nomadland’s Best Picture win. She honored the real-life subjects of her film who were with her onstage: “We would like to show our deepest gratitude to Linda Mae, Swankie, Bob Wells, and Nomadic community, all the people we met on the road, thank you for teaching us the power of resilience and hope, for reminding us what true kindness looks like.”
Nomadland is a recession-era tale about a community of van dwellers in the American West based on a 2017 nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder.
Prior to the Academy Awards, Nomadland had received several recognitions from Directors Guild of America, the Golden Globes, BAFTA, and multiple film critics groups. – Rappler.com