IFFR KINO special: Rey + Q&A Niles Atallah
On Wednesday 22 August, filmmaker Niles Atallah will be present in KINO Rotterdam to attend a very special edition of IFFR KINO in collaboration with EYE Filmmuseum. Atallah’s experimental film Rey, about a slightly crazed French lawyer-adventurer in nineteenth-century Chile, won the Special Jury Award at IFFR 2017. The post-screening Q&A will be led by IFFR programmer Gerwin Tamsma.
Rey is about the true story of French adventurer Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, who attempted to found his own kingdom in 1860, at the tip of recently independent South America. Armed with a constitution penned by himself and a new flag, he fought his way through the rugged wilderness on horseback. After his arrival he managed to unite the natives and was chosen to become their ruler.
At least, that’s one version of it. Other versions follow: he was helped by a native traitor. He was a French spy! He succeeded, but was captured. He was banished. He died. But he returned? Who remembers the true story? In Rey, the problems of history and memory are emphasised by the degradation of image and sound.
Filmmaker Niles Atallah shot some segments in 2011, then buried the 35mm, 16mm and Super-8 film in his back garden. What does time do to a story? The results of these burials recur throughout the film – as deteriorating memories and the king’s wild visions.
With the support of the Hubert Bals Fund, Atallah also experimented with puppets, masks and stop-motion animation. Everything culminated in this astonishing, delicate work of art: an ode to film and a fascinating fairy tale.
The film will also be shown in EYE’s Previously Unreleased series, in which they screen films that should have been released in Dutch theatres but haven’t.
Rey, Niles Atallah, Chile/France/Netherlands/Germany/Qatar, 2017, 90’