Circle FFD 2021

Le Mois du Film Documentaire

Thematic Cycle: Our Uncertain Wars

War becomes a part of the birth of the cinema, while history is presented as a memory through several mediums, one of them being film. Creative treatment of images in a film can indeed contextualize time and space to bring forth facts, memories, and images of the past in a particular approach.

The images of war and history that are narrated using sound, text, and image archives can be analogized as a process in which a film’s image does not come out of thin air. The films in this program are a response of the filmmakers who are driven by certain experiences and perspectives. They’re not merely an idea that presents a paraphrase of uncertain war or conflict situations, but also possess a different approach and present how image and memory relations are treated to trace the past. This year marks the 60 years of conflict in Algeria that broke out since March 19, 1962. This is an opportunity to revisit the conflicts of the 20th century.

200.000 fantômes is an experimental meditation to articulate conflict through photographic images and all of the changes for over 90 years. This film recorded the development of a former Japanese business center built in 1915 which became the symbol of the destruction of the city of Hiroshima by the American atomic bomb in 1945. The Dome was the only building to remain standing in the immediate vicinity of the explosion. In another time frame, we traverse the stories using all senses through Irradiés, which uses a storytelling approach, images, words, and footage about a conflict in Cambodia. The film excites sights and feelings by juxtaposing images from the encounters and testimonies of hibakusha (victims of bombings) that remind them of the past and the things that have been lived through. This circumstance brings us to an immersive experience with a different approach to understanding the situation. In 143 Rue du Desert, one of Algeria’s main highways, the portrait of an eccentric woman, who seems aware of her character’s cinematic construction, is described through dynamic situations that reveal a new fragment of this minuscule space.

Photography as a concept in the three films supports the significant idea of perspective of the historical events and timescales. This framing occasionally brought us to the cinematic concept of Werckmeister Harmonies by Béla Tarr’s which brings melancholy of resistance where shots through certain frames give the impression of a situation that is full of mystery and stability.

Thematic Cycle; Our Uncertain Wars is a partnership program between Forum Film Dokumenter & Le Mois du Film Documentaire with the support of Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI).

Programmer : Alia Damaihati

2019  —
  104 min  —
Hassen Ferhani

Is a portrait of Malika, an elderly woman who runs a rest-stop café on the side of Algeria's main highway.

2007  —
  11 min  —
Jean-Gabriel Periot

This magnificent short film displays a series of black and white and colour photos of the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition, before and after the explosion.

2020  —
  88 min  —
Rithy Panh

An extreme, necessary film that penetrates the eye and heart with unyielding force.