Program 3 is composed of five films: a structural movie about the Mediterranean Sea and its ghosts by the Lebanese artist Nour Ouayda; a political research project by Nina Fisher and Maroan el Sani exploring the phenomenon of the Germans’ frightening self-identification with Native Americans; Ukrit Sa-nguanhai’s film tracing a series of mysterious deaths in a small Thai town; Deborah Stratman’s homage to the pioneer of avant-garde queer cinema Barbara Hammer; and a journey along the mythical river Styx by Belarusian artists Darya Golova and Sasha Kulak.
Please note that Deborah Stratman’s film features strong stroboscope effects.
One sea, 10 seas
Eight video cassettes dated 2014–2018, each containing records of the Mediterranean Sea or, more precisely, a short stretch of coastline near Beirut. Three women named N., T., and C. explore these images and sounds, aiming to find traces of something else that they call “the apparitions.”
Dir. Nour Ouayda
Lebanon, 2019. 42 min. 16+
Appropriation takes you on a weird ride
The film explores the strange German attraction with Native Americans and its implications rooted in modern-day racism and the colonial past. This fascination, especially with regard to the construction of German identity, has a frightening rather than impressive chronology, dating back to first-century Germanic Cherusci chieftain Arminius and stretching to Karl May’s adventure novels and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows in the 1800s, through the ethnographic exhibitions in human zoos and the founding of “Indian clubs” at the turn of the twentieth century, onward to the appropriation of the Indigenous identities by Nazi ideologists up until the present day, when new right-wing groups have developed an unsettling identification with the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Dir. Nina Fischer, Maroan el Sani
Germany, 2019. 20 min. 18+
Rumors and legends revolve around a chain of mysterious deaths of teachers in a small Thai countryside town. Images and events that seem unrelated to the main story confuse the viewer creating a paranoid realm. Everything becomes significant: a pond with crocodiles, cha-cha music, and the belief in the afterlife.
Dir. Ukrit Sa-nguanhai
Thailand, 2019. 17 min. 18+
Vever (for Barbara)
Vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to set up a connection with the divine. Striving to reach beyond their cultural experience, Maya Deren goes to Haiti in the 1950s, and artist Barbara Hammer takes a trip to Guatemala in 1975. Many years later their paths converge, as two forgotten films are mixed together into a short by Deborah Stratman, which is a cross-generational binding of three filmmakers, each seeking ways to overcome repressive power structures through art.
Dir. Deborah Stratman
Guatemala, USA, 2019. 12 min. 18+
The Accommodations of Desire
The water flows on the surface of the Earth as well as underneath it, binding together the worlds of the living and the dead. Voices of shells, of mysterious sea creatures can be heard—these are the voices of sirens who rob the mind of peace and send it on a journey along the waves of life.
Dir. Darya Golova, Sasha Kulak
The Netherlands, Russia, 2020. 18 min. 18+