What does it mean to decipher History in the making? Here is the “potentiality” at stake in Dana Berman Duff’s film, developed in two movements. First movement: words, framed in extreme close-up shots, cut out from what appears to be a newspaper page, as can be guessed from the greyish, see-through paper and the black ink of the printed letters. Words read in silence, traces of the rumble of international news. The work of artist Susan Silton, a collection of five front pages of the New York Times published in 1933 and 1934, raises a question: how is it possible to miss the blindingly obvious, how can one unravel what is really going on? Extract from the news, from their thunder and background noise, what is there, waiting to be read – the readable clues, like so many omens. Second movement: how can one testify, bear witness for the witness, as Celan says? When they were prisoners at Theresienstadt concentration camp, now known as a showcase and an instrument of propaganda meant to hide the reality of extermination, musician Viktor Ullmann and librettist Peter Kien, who were later killed in Auschwitz, composed an opera in 1943-44: Der Kaiser von Atlantis. This opera with a terribly lucid subtitle: oder Die Tod-Verweigerung, or Death’s refusal, was not to be performed until 1975. The singing here, from a 1994 version, reaches us from a grey screen, without images, as if hollowed out to be better engulfed in the power of voices coming out of invisible bodies, conjuring up their absence as well as their persistence.
Fragments of almost unreadable sentences, where everything was yet so obvious, connected in their silence to a voice whose source was voluntarily annihilated. And out of this connection rises what refuses to disappear: a latency, a buried power, as shown in the title, borrowed from Hannah Arendt. (N.F.)
Original version : English, German.
Subtitles : English.
Script : Dana Berman Duff.
Photography : Dana Berman Duff.
Editing : Dana Berman Duff.
Music : Viktor Ullmann.
Sound : Dana Berman Duff.
Production : Dana Berman Duff (DNA).
Distribution : Dana Berman Duff (DNA).
- What Does She See When She Shuts Her Eyes, 2019 (2-channel video installation).
- Catalogue Series (9 films), 2014-2017.
- The Gringas, 2013.
- World Upside Down, 2012 (2-channel video installation).
- Mishap, 2011 (3-channel video installation).
- Sweet Night, 2006.
- Some things about water, 2005.
- Bomb Girls, 2004.
El Agua - water, quite simply – comes back to the village, and moves from the romps in the sky to the riverbed, from the outset threatening to overflow. Rumours fly in the small town, rumours...En savoir +
Juliette Dominati A woman in her forties, a young adult, a little girl: Lola, at three different stages of her life. The eldest tells the others her memories as they act them out. On the set,...En savoir +
Florence Pazzottu A woman sweeps the floor, then hands the broom to a man: he sweeps a bit, and hands it back to her. In this film, named after Vasari's biography of Giorgione, man and woman reenact...En savoir +
Minia Biabiany’s work (films, installations, sculptures) is informed by her experience as a Guadeloupean woman, she is unapologetic about her work being inseparable from her homeland. Here, water...En savoir +
In Kyiv, the war still seems inconceivable, but the pandemic forces a mother and her daughter to spend the lockdown in their shared apartment. The mother is a piano teacher who keeps giving lessons...En savoir +
La vie des hommes infâmes (The Life of Infamous Men) was the project for a book that never saw the light of day but for which Michel Foucault wrote a preface. He wanted to collect the written...En savoir +
Hushed voices announce a girl’s death. Kneeling around the corpse, the teenage girls stare at her. Again, they whisper, chanting in unison “light as a feather, stiff as a board”, a magic...En savoir +
In Spilliaert, we joyfully rediscover a taste for the interwoven mix of genres that captivated us in N.P (FID 2020). Lisa Spilliaert uses the pretext of an investigation into her potentially shared...En savoir +
Danielle Arbid works at the heart of feelings, from one film to the next, the most recent Simple Passion (2021) based on Annie Ernaux embodies the quintessence of this. Less well-known is a more...En savoir +
Janaína Nagata Janaína Nagata, brazilian film director, buys a 16mm film reel on the internet without knowing its contents: she discovers an Afrikaner family film shot in South Africa in the...En savoir +