In October, the fourth edition of It all depends takes place as part of the Visionary Archive project. Pier Paolo Pasolini’s APPUNTI PER UN'ORESTIADE AFRICANA (Notes Towards an African Orestes, Italy 1969) will be screened on October 1. Narrated in the style of a cinematic notebook, Pasolini’s interest in adapting the ancient tragedy for the screen using African actors is mixed with a stubbornly colonial look at realities in Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. The structure of the cinematic notebook and the cultural ideological charge it carries demand that Pasolini’s film be placed in context with two further films. In her video work NOTES ON PASOLINI'S FORM OF A CITY (Germany 2013), Sandra Schäfer examines Pasolini’s projections of Africa before the backdrop of his critique of modernity. We are showing the film on October 3 together with Haile Gerima’s radical social satire MIRT SOST SHI AMIT (Harvest, 3,000 Years, Ethiopia 1975), shot in Ethiopia at the end of Haile Selassie’s rule.
A filmmaker, writer, poet, theater director, essayist, painter and actor, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922–1975) was one of the most multifaceted, prolific, influential and radical artists and intellectuals of the 20th century. His films, novels and essays marked turning points and set standards in post-war Europe, provoking and polarizing, triggering scandal and controversy and social debate. His works have now entered film, or literary, history without ever being pigeonholed. Pasolini was and remains singular. His whole life, he refused to adhere to artistic, political or societal conventions; he was contradictory, uncompromising, pugnacious and incredibly productive. Between his groundbreaking debut ACCATTONE (1961) and his violent death at the end of 1975, shortly after finishing his last film SALÒ, he shot over 20 feature and documentary films of different forms and lengths in rapid succession. His films focus on the edges of society and the subproletariat, they re-visit the Greek myths and the Gospel according to St Matthew for example, explore themes such as sexuality and death, Catholicism and Marxism; his thought centers on philosophical, political or social questions.
The city of Rome also plays a decisive role in many of the films, as it did in Pasolini's life. An extensive exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau called "Pasolini Roma" will explore this interdependency from 11.9 to the beginning of next year. It is in this context that we are presenting a full retrospective of Pasolini's films at Arsenal opening on September 13.
For centuries, the Sinti and the Roma have been an object of projection for foreign attributions and self-reassurance mechanisms. Numerous current films offer new perspectives on Europe's largest minority. What answers does contemporary European cinema find in terms of form and content? Thematic and film aesthetic implications are to be taken up with respect to individual countries by guests from politics, academic and the film industry and discussed accordingly.
In October we are continuing the film series organized by the Evangelische Akademie zu Berlin with four current fiction and documentary films which portray a dynamic, often highly contrasting picture.
Refugees make their way to Europe every day. In crowded, often hardly seaworthy boats, they try to make the journey across the water, with countless people dying during the dangerous passage. In the meantime, the EU is sealing off its borders more and more effectively. Drawing on the latest technology, Europe watches over the Mediterranean region with drones and satellites with the help of the Eurosur program – border protection is being further expanded and partially farmed out to North Africa. Although the tragedies of sunken refugee ships such as the one before Lampedusa in October 2013 do at least make the headlines for a short time and generate awareness, political responses and humanitarian solutions have thus far failed to appear. An important reform of EU refugee policy with a central focus on the "responsibility to protect" and human rights still remains far away from this "space of freedom, security and justice". We need images that begin beyond the sea, images that take a look at the centrifugal forces of armed conflict, at places of transit and at the companions in fate brought together by such processes. Narrations that report on the borders before Europe and question why people set out to breach them. Films about people, goals and hopes, about day-to-day realities in European cities, about the heroes of the monotonous everyday and about flights embarked on in handcuffs.
With four days of films about migration and escape from October 6 to 9 at the Arsenal cinema and a panel discussion about humane European refugee policy on October 9 at the Heinrich Böll Foundation offices, the Heinrich Böll Foundation takes a differentiated look at the realities and spaces both this side and the other side of the shared sea.
Wie de waarheid zegt moet dood
Whoever Says the Truth Shall Die
Philo Bregstein Netherlands 1981
DigiBeta OV/EnS 61 min
Song / Schmutziges Geld Richard Eichberg
Germany/UK 1928 With Anna May Wong, Heinrich George
35 mm English Intertitles 94 min