SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF-PORTRAIT
dirs. Wiam Bedirxcan and Ossama Mohammed, 2014
Syria. 110 minutes.
In Arabic with English subtitles.
SATURDAY, MARCH 11 – 7:30 PM – ONE NIGHT ONLY!
A look at first-hand video accounts of violence in modern-day Syria as filmed by activists in the besieged city of Homs.
“Introducing an essential dialectical element to the film, Mohammed’s powerful found footage essay is gradually woven into new footage shot on the ground during the siege of Homs by co-director Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a woman whose Kurdish name gives the film its title. She and Mohammed begin a correspondence, one of words but also presumably of video, he from afar in Paris and she walking the besieged streets in Syria, wandering among exploding buildings, deserted streets, and with young children in “revolutionary” schoolrooms. Her footage, more solitary, high-definition, less violent and more diary-like than than the piecemeal shotgun blast of images from Mohammed’s collection, feels like a direct extension of her sight, sensations and thoughts. Less pointed (and loaded) then the “key” sequences of the Mohammed’s montage, nevertheless Bedirxan’s images, when alongside or feathered into the found footage, speaks of filming as living, the camera “seen as a weapon by the regime.
Her footage is not of protests or bloody deaths but of the interiors, city corners, injured street cats, and young children that make up her daily, isolated life, “images,” she says, “that flee into my small camera.” Mohammed, despite some desperate-feeling footage shot in Paris, fundamentally seems to have no camera, only eyes and videos. The two, Bedirxan and Mohammed, trade longings and self-doubts, each somewhat talking to themselves, images as monologues. But when placed next to or within the work of the other, the film forms a kind of larger scale correspondence between the two, of exile and besieged, man and woman, Syrian and Kurd. He speaks of different kinds of cinema, cinema of “realism,” of “the marvelous,” of “murder,” “the poetic,” and of “fantasy.” He speaks of cinema of murderers, and of cinema of victims. Implicitly, what he speaks of and what he and Bedirxan have made is a cinema of witnessing and of experiencing, of nearness and distance, and of exile and of homeland.” – Daniel Kasman, MUBI
SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF-PORTRAIT is now streaming on MUBI. Available March 3 – April 2. Watch here.
Official Selection: Toronto Film Festival, Cannes Special Screening, Locarno Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Busan Film Festival, London Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, CPH: DOX Copenhagen Film Festival and Torino Film Festival
BETWEEN FENCESdir. Avi Mograbi, 2016
Israel/France. 71 minutes.
In Hebrew, Tigrigna, and ArabicSATURDAY, MARCH 18 – 7:30 PM – ONE NIGHT ONLY!Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon meet African asylum-seekers in a detention facility in the middle of the Negev desert where they are confined by the state of Israel. Together, they question the status of the refugees in Israel using “Theater of the Oppressed” techniques. What leads men and women to leave everything behind and go towards the unknown? Can the Israelis working with the asylum seekers put themselves in the refugees’ shoes?BETWEEN FENCES will be available to stream on MUBI starting March 17. Watch here.Official Selection: Berlinale — Forum, Cinéma du Réel, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival and DocAviv Film FestivalMUBI is a curated online cinema, streaming hand-picked award-winning, classic, and cult films from around the globe. Every day, MUBI’s film experts present a new film and you have 30 days to watch it. Whether it’s an acclaimed masterpiece, a gem fresh from the world’s greatest film festivals, or a beloved classic, there are always 30 beautiful hand-picked films to discover.