Films that inspire, inform and provoke, many of which will be screened during Margareta Kern’s residency:
- Miners Campaign Tapes, 1984. A group of independent film and video makers decided to show their support for the miners’ strike using the tools they had available: their cameras. http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_14813.html
- The Battle for Orgreave, 1985, dir. Yvette Vanson.
Miners recount their own history, their economic and political struggles over decades and the trial they endured for 48 days in Sheffield when charged with riot at Orgreave – facing life imprisonment. Containing compelling testimonies, emotive cinematography, in depth analysis coupled with meticulous detail of the mass picket and the ensuing events of June 18 1984 at the Orgreave coking plant, the documentary also has unique footage of police violence – all these make this an historic and important document of our time.
- The Battle of Orgreave, 2001, Jeremy Deller.
Re-enactment of a confrontation between police and picketing miners at a British Steel coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire in 1984.
- Coalfield trilogy – by Amber film-collective whose work is rooted in social documentary, built around long term engagements with working class and marginalized communities in the North of England. For more about Amber’s work please see http://www.sidetv.net/ and http://www.amber-online.com/
Coalfield trilogy: The Scar (1997) looks at the lives of women after the Miners’ Strike and the campaign against closures. Like Father (2001) explores male experience in the aftermath of pit closure; Shooting Magpies (2005) looks at the post-industrial generation and the impacts of heroin in the colliery villages of East Durham.
- The Miners Hymns, 2010. Bill Morison.
Bill Morrison’s collaboration with Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson mixes new and archive footage to examine the culture and history of mining around Durham.
- Sounds from Beneath, 2010, Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow, single channel HD video with sound, 6′ 41″
In Sounds from Beneath a desolate disused colliery in East Kent, once populated with workers, machines and the sounds of their activities, is brought back to life through song. The video centers around a choral piece for which Karikis invites an ex-miners’ choir to recall and sing the subterranean sounds of a working coal mine. It transforms into an amphitheatre resonating sounds of explosions in the ground, machines cutting the coal-face, shovels scratching the earth and the distant melody of the Miner’s Lament, all sung by Snowdown Colliery Welfare Male Voice Choir grouping in formations reminiscent of picket lines.
- Handsworth Songs, 1986, Black Audio Film Collective,
An experimental film essay on race and disorder in Britain, filmed in Handsworth and London during the riots of 1985 and incorporating newsreel and archival material.
- The Exception and the Rule, 2009, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler.
Experimental film employing a variety of strategies in negotiating consciously political themes. Avoiding traditional documentary modes, the film frames everyday activities within a period of civil unrest, incorporating performances to camera, public interventions and observation. http://www.mirza-butler.net/index.php?/project/the-exception-and-the-rule/
- Half Moon Files, 2007, Philip Scheffner
Mall Singh’s crackling words are heard as he spoke into the phonographic funnel on 11th December 1916 in the city of Wünsdorf, near Berlin. 90 years later, Mall Singh is a number on an old Shellac record in an archive – one amongst hundreds of voices of colonial soldiers of the First World War. In his experimental search “The Halfmoon Files”, Philip Scheffner follows the traces of these voices to the origin of their recording. Like a memory game – which remains incomplete right until the end – he uncovers pictures and sounds that revive the ghosts of the past. http://www.halfmoonfiles.de/index.php?id=26
- The Profit Motive and Whispering Wind, 2007, John Gianvito
A visual meditation on the progressive history of the United States as seen through cemeteries, historic plaques and markers. Inspired by Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”.
- Far From Poland, 1984, Jill Godmilow
A filmmaker – a woman steeped in the documentary traditions of the Left – sets out to dismantle the sinister symmetry of the Cold War single-handedly and show the world the road to salvation through the miracle of the Polish Solidarity movement. When denied visas to shoot in Poland proper, she constructs a film in New York City called FAR FROM POLAND. http://nd.edu/~jgodmilo/poland.html
- The Arbor, 2010, Clio Barnard
Innovative documentary The Arbor uses lip-synching techniques to give life to audio interviews telling the story of tragic playwright Andrea Dunbar. http://www.artangel.org.uk/projects/2010/the_arbor
- London (1994) and Robinson in Space (1997), Patrick Keller
Patrick Keiller’s imaginative and highly original two films each document a journey undertaken by the unseen ‘researcher’ Robinson and his similarly unseen companion, the film’s narrator (voiced by Paul Scofield). Scathing reflections on the recent past are enlivened by offbeat humour and wide-ranging literary anecdotes.
- La Commune (de Paris, 1871), 2000, Peter Watkins
La Commune (de Paris, 1871), is a historical drama film directed by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune. It is a historical re-enactment in the style of a documentary, and was shot in just 13 days in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Paris. The large cast is mainly non-professional, including many immigrants from North Africa, and they did much of their own research for the project. http://pwatkins.mnsi.net/commune.htm
- Harlan County U.S.A, 1976, Barbara Kopple
An Oscar-winning 1976 documentary film covering the “Brookside Strike”, an effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company’s Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1973. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074605/plotsummary
- Chronicle of a summer, 1961. Jean Rouch, Edgar Moris
This monumental film by anthropological documentarian Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin, Chronique d’un été (Paris 1960), marks the invention of cinéma vérité, the name given it by Rouch. An unconcealed “living camera,” “a highly portable lightweight camera connected to a synchronized sound recorder” (Sadoul), was used by the cameraman accompanying an interviewer who asked random Parisians in the street in the summer of 1960 a simple question: “Are you happy?” This was during the last years of colonial France’s participation in the Algerian War. http://icarusfilms.com/new2003/sum.html
- San Soleil (1983) and La Jetee (1962), Chris Marker
Sans Soleil (Sunless in English) is a meditation on the nature of human memory, showing the inability to recall the context and nuances of memory and and how, as a result, the perception of personal and global histories are affected. Stretching the genre of documentary, this experimental essay-film is a composition of thoughts, images and scenes.
La jetée is a 1962 French science fiction film by Chris Marker. It is also known in English as The Jetty or The Pier. Constructed almost entirely from still photos, it tells the story of a post-nuclear war experiment in time travel.