Close Up

24 November 2018: November Film Festival Programme 6


Andres Padilla Domene and Ilaria Lupo will be present for a Q&A

Karen Russo
2016 | 6 min | B/W | Digital
UK Festival premiere 

TET-Stadt takes the viewer on a journey through majestic white buildings fronted by pyramid structures, suggesting a city of pharaohs. It’s actually a recreation of a model of a 1917 Egyptian-themed urban project, conceived by the German biscuit manufacturer Hermann Bahlsen and designed by the Expressionist artist Bernhard Hoetger. Though the original model was lost, almost seamlessly interwoven with Russo’s own footage are shots of Egyptian structures from Germanen gegen Pharaonen, a propaganda film from 1939 by Anton Kutter, which proposed that the pyramids were of Germanic origin. In its mix of references to different periods, from the antique past to the ideologically turbulent opening decades of the 20th century, the film reflects on a state of a social consciousness and identity in transit between a lost past and utopian future.

Ciudad Maya
Andres Padilla Domene
2016 | 24 min | Colour | Digital
Maya with English subtitles
UK Premiere 

In the city of Merida, Mexico, a group of young urban Maya operates mysterious technological instruments to carry out a kind of archaeological survey of a ruined site. The film prowls the outer limits of science fiction and documentary to deconstruct the imaginary around Mayan culture and identity today.

The Seven Abdulrakims
Elham Rokni
2018 | 22 min | Colour | Digital
Hebrew with English subtitles
UK premiere

The Seven Abdulkarims, based on a folktale by the same name, was originally told by Omar Issa, a Sudanese asylum-seeker, the tale recounts the attempt of seven men, each named Abdulkarim, to reach Libya from their home in Sudan. Having never left their small village and with no concept of the struggles ahead, they all die before making it to their destination, in ways equally comical and horrific. Composed of nine distinct scenes in contrasting genres and styles, Rokni uses the narrative structure to blend metaphor and satire on Israel’s current immigration situation. It is at once playful, surreal, and deadly urgent.

Nocturne for Pit Orchestra
Ilaria Lupo
2018 | 20 min | Colour | Digital
Arabic with English subtitles
UK premiere 

Nocturne for Pit Orchestra documents the creation of a live performance conceived for The Bahrain National Quarry, involving the site’s laborers as performers - a project by Ilaria Lupo with Rabih Beaini. The project digs into dynamics of music-making within migrant labor while aiming to explore the intermingled layers connecting the quarry’s identity with the socio-economic shifts in 20th century Bahrain and the Gulf Region. The Fidjeri music embodies a pivotal history of labor fused with influences from the Levantine, Persian, East African and South Asian basins. The performance took place at the quarry, never opened to the public before. 

Total runtime: 72 min

Part of November Film Festival