projections - films de/by Simon El Habre, Katia Jarjoura et Liliana Cavani
Dans le cadre de l'exposition The Labour of Ruin, l'artiste Walid Sadek sélectionne trois films autour de la question du survivant et de la construction de la ruine à venir.
Within the frame of the exhibition The Labour of Ruin , the artist Walid Sadek selects three films which approach the question of the survivor and of building the ruin to come.
Simon El Habre Semaan bil Dayaa or The One Man Village, 2008, 100', EN st FR
Having spent years working in the coastal entertainment hub of Maameltein, we encounter this figure of Semaan settled in his home village Ain al Halazon, an inchoate rubble-strewn landscape sprawled on both sides of a winding road somewhere in the Chouf Mountain of Lebanon. Semaan is not alone in his depopulated and vestigial village. He lives with his animals. We see him milking his dairy cows, cajoling them by their nicknames every morning. And on early mornings, he loads his rickety car and drives to the neighbouring villages to sell the day’s fresh yield. The documentary shows him reluctant to elucidate the causes of what befell him and his fellow villagers and calmly uninterested in naming those responsible for the calamity which still marks the village. Can it be that Semaan carries a memory which forgets ? For whereas the displaced villagers and landowners who seasonally re-visit their village and speak to the camera are capable of naming and recalling the causes of their suffering and in doing so seem to rehearse their memories and maintain them close at hand, Semaan’s memory of the calamity is un-gatherable. His knowledge is born of bearing a knowledge which follows an indelible implication : a quiet non-triumphant knowledge which makes him disinclined if not incapable of simply naming, incapable of the obscenity of naming.
Katia Jarjoura Terminator ; the last battle, 2006, 90', EN
Katia Jarjoura’s documentary chronicles the efforts of a zealous supporter of the deposed General Michel Aoun, waging his last battle against the Syrian army by partaking in the popular manifestations and sit-ins which followed the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005. Contradictory and pathetic, this young zealot, known to his friends and detractors alike by the name of Termi or Terminator, tries hard to turn the loss whose symptoms he so unmistakably manifests into a final ablutionary victory. The exorbitant cost he pays at the end is more disabling than the loss he so eagerly tried to undo : his last battle was a desperate attempt to live again rather than to merely over-live. What the documentary suggests is that not even after the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon in April of 2005 nor after the triumphant return of General Aoun from exile in the following month of May, could Termi continue to fend off the strangely numbing realization that he was already posthumous.
Liliana Cavani The Night Porter, 1974, 118', EN
What one carries from the furnace of experience is an unwelcome knowledge. In Liliana Cavani’s film this knowledge moreover binds the over-liver, namely he who lives on in spite of his death, to the site of the catastrophe. If according to Jean Amery to be tortured once is to always be tortured, Cavani adds that the tortured can only speak his experience when intimate again with the torturer. This is a film that paints the intimacy of a cul-de-sac ; an end game where the over-liver finds in death a release from a life that has gone on for too long. But this death, the film posits, is necessarily found when in the arms of a dead torturer.
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