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november 2017, arsenal cinema

AFRIKAMERA 2017: Talking about Sahel

Within the course of just a few years, the Sahel has become a region marked by dangerous connections between fundamentalist religion, terrorism, and politics. Before this socio-political backdrop, the tenth edition of AFRIKAMERA – Current Cinema from Africa presents a selection of current features and documentaries that grapple with the political and social challenges which the Sahel faces.

The festival opens with WÙLU, the feature debut by Franco-Malian director Daouda Coulibaly (Mali/France 2016, 13.11., screening attended by leading actor Ibrahim Koma & 17.11.). 20-year-old Ladji is a minibus driver in the Malian capital of Bamako and works hard to free his sister Aminata from prostitution. When he is denied a promotion, he decides to enter the more lucrative drug business and quickly becomes a big shot in regional drug dealing circles. Yet the price Ladji eventually pays is high.

november 2017, arsenal cinema

Harun Farocki: Year by Year / Side by Side (3)

Three years after Harun Farocki's sudden death in summer 2014, the versatility and consistence of his nearly 50-year career are undeniable. Between 1966, the year in which he started studying at the newly founded "Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin" (dffb), and 2013, Farocki shot numerous cinema films and television programs, wrote film criticism and numerous, often polemic texts that carried out diagnoses of their respective eras, taught at universities and film and art schools. From the 90s onwards, he was increasingly regarded as an installation artist and theoretician of the image. Farocki's work can be emphatically understood as comprising a theory, critique, and politics of myriads types of images, but also exemplifies precise analyses of working processes in an era of the progressive mechanization of both production and seeing. The spectrum of his interventions ranges from agitation-focused, pamphlet-like films about self-reflexive, associative, open forms all the way to reserved, patient observational studies.


"Year by Year/Side by Side" is the most comprehensive retrospective of Harun Farocki’s cinema and television work to date. Alongside the exhibition "Harun Farocki: Mit anderen Mitteln – By Other Means" (curated by Antje Ehmann and Carlos Guerra) at the neuer berliner kunstverein, the temporary "Farocki Now" academy organized by the Harun Farocki Institut at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the silent green Kulturquartier (October 18th-21st) and the recent publication of his incomplete autobiography, the program gives audiences a chance to become acquainted, or reacquainted, with the documentarian's oeuvre and all the many directions it points in. Numerous productions thought lost or seldom shown were able to be researched in archives and brought together. The retrospective suggests "Two Ways" (which is the title of Farocki's first ever film) through his work. Under the title "Year by Year", all of Farocki's cinema and television productions currently accessible are being showing in the order in which they were made. The second series is called "Side by Side" and takes place in parallel to the chronologically programmed one and borrows the name of an exhibition by Farocki in order to reveal the specific references that hold together a body of cinema and television work that spans nearly 50 years. Each program is accompanied by introductions or conversations with colleagues, friends and co-workers of Farocki.

november 2017, arsenal cinema

Retrospective: Pascale Ferran

French filmmaker and scriptwriter Pascale Ferran has made four features and written numerous screenplays, yet seeing a new film of hers in the cinema is a rare treat, as a lot of time usually passes between each individual title appearing. After she completed her studies, it took a full ten years before PETITS ARRANGEMENTS AVEC LES MORTS finally premiered in 1994, which won the prize for best debut film in Cannes. While L'ÂGE DES POSSIBLES (1995), which received an award in Venice, followed just a short time later, ten years were again to pass before the release of her multi-award winning literary adaptation LADY CHATTERLEY. Another eight years later, she made a brilliant return with 2014's BIRD PEOPLE. As her must-see oeuvre as a director and screenwriter is almost completely unknown in Germany with the exception of LADY CHATTERLEY, Arsenal is dedicating a retrospective to Pascale Ferran. It offers audiences the opportunity to follow both strands of her work and also shines a light on the very category of authorship in cinema – by way of her own four films as well as the debut films of her former student colleagues Arnaud Desplechin and Mathieu Amalric together with an animated film, for all of which she worked on the script. We are very happy that Pascale Ferran will be our guest at Arsenal on November 3. & 4.