A History of Shadows is a sprawling thematic programme, part of the Perspectives section, that deals with the ways in which cinema revisits and re-evaluates the past and the position of history’s losers. All works in the series – fictions, documentaries, essays and an installation – reflect in various ways on contemporary issues. The programme is curated by IFFR programmer Gerwin Tamsma with guest programmer Gustavo Beck.
A History of Shadows comprises essential and surprising films that illustrate the many powers of cinema to deal with the past. From documenting and evoking particular historical truths to its ability to re-write mankind’s fallible memory, cinema is a unique time machine. As years go by, it can give new insights that were perhaps unavailable at the time. It can also re-enact and rebuild a past that has been lost, but that still casts its long shadow over the present. These films demand to be seen, not just as images from the past but as a window on our contemporary world.
Alongside several masterclasses and debates, the series presents new works by some of cinema’s great masters, such as Zama by Lucrecia Martel and, as previously announced, Angela Ricci Lucchi and Yervant Gianikian’s film installation Journey to Russia. It also presents sweeping historical dramas like Robert Schwentke’s Der Hauptmann/The Captain or Youth by Feng Xiaogang.
Among the many world premieres, there are thought-provoking films such as Fabrizio Ferraro’s Les Unwanted de Europa – about the last days in the life of philosopher Walter Benjamin – or Pablo Sigg’s Lamaland (Part 1),continuing his work with the last descendants of a 19th-century German colony in Paraguay.
In Jörn Donner´s personal take on life in Finland – a double bill made up of Fuck Off! – Images from Finland (1971) and Fuck Off 2 – Images from Finland (2017) – the working of time and the idea of progress is scrutinised. Found footage is obviously an essential element in this context, and lies at the heart of films such as ‘77 No Commercial Use by Luis Fulvio and La película infinita by Leandro Listorti. Finally, the programme will also comprise a series of classics from film history, dealing with similar issues represented in contemporary cinema: historical but still very much alive.
All confirmed films for A History of Shadows
- '77 No Commercial Use, Luis Fulvio, 2017, Italy, international premiere
- Aliens, Luis López Carrasco, 2017, Spain
- Angkar, Neary Adeline Hay, 2018, France, world premiere
- The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931, Christopher Gozum, 2017, Philippines, international premiere
- Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Travis Wilkerson, 2017, USA
- Le fort des fous, Narimane Mari, 2017, France/Greece/Germany/Qatar
- The Fortress, Hwang Donghyuk, 2017, South Korea
- Four Parts of a Folding Screen, Anthea Kennedy/Ian Wiblin, 2018, UK, world premiere
- Fuck Off 2 – Images from Finland, Jörn Donner, 2017, Finland
- Fuck Off! – Images from Finland, Jörn Donner, 1971, Finland
- Der Hauptmann/The Captain, Robert Schwentke, 2017, Germany/France/Poland/Portugal
- Lamaland (Part I), Pablo Sigg, 2018, Mexico/Switzerland, world premiere
- La película infinita, Leandro Listorti, 2018, Argentina, world premiere
- Il risoluto/The Resolute, Giovanni Donfrancesco, 2017, Italy/France, international premiere
- Der rote Schatten, Dominik Graf, 2017, Germany, international premiere
- Tremor – Es ist immer Krieg, Annik Leroy, 2017, Belgium
- Les unwanted de Europa, Fabrizio Ferraro, 2018, Spain/Italy, world premiere
- Los versos del olvido/Oblivion Verses, Alireza Khatami, 2017, France/Germany/Netherlands/Chile
- Youth, Feng Xiaogang, 2017, China
- Zama, Lucrecia Martel, 2017, Argentina/Spain/Netherlands/France
Photo in header: Still: Les Unwanted de Europa