Official Selection 2022
Brent Chesanek

NOMOTOPOWELL

United States / 2022 / Colour / 71’
World Premiere

Histories can overlap, they can blend. They are such stuff as stories and myths are made of, and they are responsible for the intensity of both real and fictional places. For Brent Chesanek, it all starts with the skulls of two men named Powell, found on the same area: although the men have nothing in common, for the sake of the film, they cross paths in a reinvented village. On the one hand, Lewis Powell, a proslavery murderer who conspired to overthrow the American government in 1865, under a series of aliases, so as to preserve institutional slavery after the southern defeat. On the other hand, Bill Powell, a famous anticolonial Seminole rebel, who forsook his occidental name and fought the colons under the name of Osceola during the 1830s, when native populations were driven out of newly acquired Florida. Crossing threads and tales, Brent Chesanek introduces us to a country populated by ghosts. His heteronymous game and shift create a history and a geography in this territory that deepens and takes on a different density. Through the muggy Floridian landscapes, by day or at dusk, the gaze is transformed by the collage and stratification of stories and voices, including that of an unexpected and metamorphosed Marco Polo, as the matrix of all travel writings. Thus, Brent Chesanek rebuilds this piece of land according to the codes of explorers. This clever detour enables the village to become the archetype of some bigger American identity. All this piling and weaving draw the portrait of a national history of white supremacy and European colonialism, as the founding principles of the American national narrative, which remains deeply rooted today.
(Nicolas Feodoroff)

Technical sheet

Original version : french, english
Subtitles : english
Script : Brent Chesanek
Photography : Owen Levelle, Brent Chesanek
Editing : Brent Chesanek
Music : Chris Zabriskie
Sound : Brent Chesanek, Kevin T Allen
Casting : Alessandro Magania, Daniel B.C, Powell, Wendy Kay White, Krysta Wallrauch, Ana Beranek

Production & distribution : Brent Chesanek (Auxerrine).

Filmography : City World, 2012.

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

Director

Brent Chesanek - United States

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