My essentials: Chiara Hyzler’s cultural picks

No 43 | 36, Chiara Hyzler Drama Teacher, Theatre maker

Chiara Hyzler
Chiara Hyzler

1. Book

I am currently reading ‘Kollox Jeħel Magħna’ by Francesco Grech. In the last few years, my interest in Maltese theatre and language has really grown. We have had a bunch of amazing Maltese productions going up which I have really enjoyed. I was keen to delve into some Maltese poetry and this book is just phenomenal. It is hard hitting, poignant and beautifully written.

2. Film

Any Anthony Hopkins film is worth watching but The Father is absolutely brilliant. It deals with the world of a dementia patient and the way it weaves between what he is seeing and what is actually happening is very clever. I am directing a piece on dementia early next year, so this was an important watch. I was struck by the role music plays in stimulating memories and effecting mood changes. Its so incredible to see how the arts have such an effective role in comfort, recovery and healing.

3. Internet/TV

I am always so saddened when a school shooting occurs, it hits so close to home for me as a teacher and as an aunt to five. I came across an article that detailed every movement the shooter made in one of the recent American school shootings, describing what journalists saw as they walked through the school, which was left untouched after the shooting occurred. It takes you through the journey of the students as they tried to protect each other or escape, the items on the ground that were strewn about in the frenzy. It also notes what was written on the board at the time as well as the posters on the wall, one in particular was Malala which I thought was heart breaking given the situation they were facing.

4. Music

During the pandemic I started attending Pop Music Theory lessons online and I just love them! This has pushed me to discover so many different styles of music and artists. At the moment I am hooked on The Alan Parsons Project. I’ve also got a lot of Bob Dylan going on and of course, Elvis, Aretha and Sam Cooke.

5. Place

Before the pandemic hit, I was travelling to Cambodia quite regularly to coordinate a couple of educational projects with my NGO. We worked with children in a particular orphanage as well as community street kitchen. I developed friendships and connections which are very special to me both with the adults we worked with, as well as with the amazing children we supported on the ground. The minute I am able to go back there, I will. I imagine I will retire there eventually.