Two years ago, Arsenal initiated a translocal experiment. The "Visionary Archive" project, which is supported by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, places different cinematographic contexts in Berlin, Bissau, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Khartoum in relationship with one another.
The central question here is what transcultural, curatorial and artistic work with archives and archival research can look like today. Alongside Arsenal and the perspective that comes from its unique in-house collection, the project partners are the non-governmental project Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre (Cairo), the independent cinema The Bioscope (Johannesburg), the archive of deceased filmmaker Gadalla Gubara (Khartoum), and the Geba Filmes association (Bissau).
From May 21-31, the participants will be giving insights into their material, presenting their findings and discussing open questions with invited guests and audiences. This festival brings the project to a close even as there are still many things yet to be accomplished and takes in films, exhibitions, three workshops, and open-air cinema screenings. In addition to Arsenal, the festival is also taking place at the Scriptings and Archive Kabinett project spaces. The festival language is English.
Films are collaborative works, created by directors, screenwriters, producers, editors cinematographers, actors, sound editors and many more. For this month's Magical History Tour, we are showing films that make this collective work visible and take it as their very theme. But it isn't just collectives, groups or film factories that highlight the plurality of cinema. The ensemble film is at once a collaborative work of a plural nature and a subversion of classical norms, creating hugely dynamic worlds rendered in cinematic patchwork that take in character mosaics that branch off in all directions, multilayered relationship structures and deliberately de-centered group portraits – complex universes characterized by fantastic acting ensembles, star-studded and egalitarian in equal measure.
On May 7 arsenal distribution is releasing PĂDUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI? (THE FOREST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS) by Christiane Schmidt and Didier Guillain.
The film which premiered in last year's Forum programme and was screened and awarded at many international film festivals since, portrays a Roma village in the Carpathian Mountains, where the inhabitants live off the land, making use of all the riches it has to offer. A sensitive observation of life on the economic sidelines, where a strong sense of community is what keeps things together.
The Arsenal Film Atelier workshops funded by the Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung have begun! Anna Faroqhi and Haim Peretz got things going in mid-March with class 6a at the Konrad Agahd elementary school in Neukölln and have been exploring the phenomenon of light in film across 150 years of photography and film history: from photosensitive paper and pinhole cameras to experimental cinema and digital recording techniques. 6a’s film work will be presented with the results of the remaining Arsenal Film Ateliers before the summer vacation.
En nations födelse Birth of a Nation
Lennart Malmer, Ingela Romare Sweden 1973
Digital file OV/EnS 48 min
Vredens poesi Poetry of Anger
Lennart Malmer Sweden 1978
Digital file OV/EnS 48 min
Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
Rainer Werner Fassbinder FRG 1972
35 mm 124 min
Le fond de l'air est rouge
A Grin Without a Cat Chris Marker France 1977
35 mm OV/EnS 180 min