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27 April 2024: The Diagonal Force


The Diagonal Force
Annik Leroy & Julie Morel, 2023, 145 min

Drawing from the writings and ideas of political philosopher Hannah Arendt, and particularly her focus on the human capacity to introduce something new into the world we share, Annik Leroy and Julie Morel travel across Europe, filming portraits of people and landscapes, gathering accounts of traumatic experiences that had been life-changing and transformative. In Sarajevo, a woman recounts an episode of the 1990s siege, when the tram that she was driving was hit by shell. In Görlitz, a Belgian man with a German mother recalls the discrimination and hatred that he suffered growing up in Belgium right after the Second World War; his classmates ambushing and beating him, leaving him with a broken nose. In Belgium, a Kinshaha-born opera singer describes the pain of being an orphan, having never known his parents’ affection. The second half of the film is a collaboration with dancer and choreographer Claire Vivianne Sobottke. Her embodied performance responds to Arendt’s writings, which are recited by Sobottke herself, and read by filmmaker Claudia von Alemann and others. The Diagonal Force (La force diagonale) is a monumental film work, inhabited by the ghosts of 20th century European history.

Followed by Q&A with Annik Leroy & Julie Morel

With the generous support of The Delegation of Flanders (Embassy of Belgium) to the UK and Ireland

Presented as part of Open City Documentary Festival