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December 2017, arsenal cinema

Filmspotting: Exploring the Deutsche Kinemathek's Film Archive


A rich plantation owner on an island in the West Indies hires a nurse for his wife, who is suffering from a mysterious malady. Is the cause of the high fever that leads Jessica Holland to slumber helplessly in a state of semi-consciousness an evil spell or merely a matter of the soul? Jacques Tourneur’s I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (USA 1943) is a cinematic poem full of voodoo magic and dream-like visions, whose suggestive power is just as potent today. The Locarno Film Festival recently dedicated its retrospective to the largely unrecognized French director, who primarily shot B-moves in the US, and screened the print from the Deutsche Kinemathek accordingly. Film critic Gerhard Midding gives an introduction to a work whose subtle style, dense atmosphere, and narrative enigmas remain underrated to this day. (ah) (18.12.)