During Shah’s regime when Mohsen MAKHMALBAF was a 17-year-old guerrilla, he, along with a girl, attacked a policeman to disarm him. Twenty years later, MAKHMALBAF, now a film director, re-encounters the policeman and decides to make a film about the incident from today’s view. The director and policeman each follows his own youth with a separate camera to track the truth.
The director returns to his homeland to screen his 1976 film The Battle of Chile for the first time and explores the terrain of the confiscated (but maybe reawakening) memories of the Chilean people. Chile, Obstinate Memory visits with those who experienced the 1973 coup first-hand. Survivors reminisce as they watch the film, recalling their lost comrades’ courage, gaiety and love of life.
This multi-faceted film is more than just a biopic of the iconic Norwegian Expressionist painter. Focusing initially on MUNCH’s formative years in late nineteenth-century Kristiania (now Oslo), Peter WATKINS uses his trademark docu-drama style to create a vivid picture of the emotional, political, and social upheavals that would have such an effect on his art.
Requested not be shown publicly before the director’s death, Visit or Memories and Confessions is a 1982 autobiographical film about Manoel DE OLIVEIRA’s life and beloved house, which he was preparing to sell after living there for decades. In the film, he talks about his family history, cinema and architecture, shares home movies, and re-enacts his run-in with the military dictatorship.
The Thin Blue Line depicts the true story of the arrest and conviction of Randall ADAMS for the murder of a Dallas policeman in 1976, a crime for which he was sentenced to death. The film is credited with overturning ADAMS’ conviction. It also pioneered a new kind of non-fiction filmmaking with its use of expressionistic re-enactments, interview material and music by Philip GLASS.
Based on the experiences of the filmmaker's family across generations, the film interweaves several childhood memories and constructs a collective memoir centring on the theme of rivers. The Yangtze River, along which the filmmaker and his family grew up, stands as a backdrop for the memories to unfold. Seen from a distance in both time and space, these stories flow on a map of the past.
Tut is a 52-year-old fisherman living in Kampot. Despite the language barrier, he told, for the first time and without any words, about his past during the Khmer Rouge regime, to a photographer and a film director, showing the hard treatments he experienced in a prison the year he turned fifteen. This shared encounter talks about the buried memory and how it marks someone for life.
A re-enactment is the action of performing a new version of an old event. It is a method often used in documentary filmmaking that visually provides more details and a better engagement to the audience. Yet, with the acting and the construction involved, it can threaten the documentary convention and blur the line between documentary and fiction. This year, seven films are included in the section of Documemory. The directors of these films consciously employed the method of 're-enactment', turning the past into the present and constructing a temporal moment in which past and present coexist. These films try to depict the complexity of reality when memory comes across re-enactments, rather than simply present what reality is.