This programme, a series of films and one installation focusing on the diverse ways in which cinema deals with the past and history’s losers, takes its inspiration from film history as well as the IFFR tradition. The inclusion of The Mummy and Geschichtsunterricht, both presented in the second edition of the festival in 1973, shows that as a subject, it is nothing new under the sun.
Films in ‘A History of Shadows’
ZamaLucrecia Martel IFFR 2018 115′
At the end of the eighteenth century Zama, a servant of the Spanish crown, whiles away his time on the banks of a South American river waiting for a letter from the king to reunite him with his wife – and civilisation. Martel’s film is an enchanting and original masterpiece that seems to have been made in a different era.
The MummyShadi Abdel Shalam IFFR 2018 103′
Based on the true story of a 19th-century Upper-Egyptian clan that robs a cache of mummies and sells the artefacts on the black market. The authorities start an investigation. A sense of obscure mystery inhabits this masterpiece, that almost 50 years after its production has become an ambiguous parable for our times.
The FortressHwang Donghyuk IFFR 2018 139′
During the Qing Invasion, in 1636, the Korean king had to withdraw to an unassailable fort in the mountains. Surrounded by the enemy and more and more starved, his counsellors succumbed to infighting. If you know you can’t win, what’s the best way to lose?
Der HauptmannRobert Schwentke IFFR 2018 118′
It’s a good thing the Germans themselves tell this kind of uneasy story. When the deserting Wehrmacht soldier Willy Herold finds an officer’s uniform in a deserted army vehicle in the last days of the war, he puts it on. It doesn’t take long before he also adopts a suitably haughty form of cruelty in this gripping and beautifully shot warning-from-hell.