Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) by Abbas Fahdel has won the Doc Alliance Selection Award. The winning film is composed of two parts – the first was shot before the US army’s invasion of Iraq while the second part captures the post-war events – providing an essential report on the turning point in the country’s development. Instead of shorthand news features on the events in Iraq, it brings an impressive portrayal of life in the country. Director Fahdel received the award at the Locarno film festival.
American dust // Poussières d'Amérique (Orig.)
Arnaud des Pallières
2011 / France / 100 min
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“This is a logbook. A film which has been improvised. A poem that is slightly too long and made from other films parts, bits of sentences, pieces of music and sounds from all around. It was written in the language of cinema, without dialogue or commentary. It is both a silent movie and a wordy one as it relates many stories, twenty or so, short, minor and forming what is called History with a capital H when put together. It is about America and, therefore, about us. Pieces of everybody’s lives put together. A child, his father, his mother, the rabbit, the dog, the flowers, your childhood, mine, ours. Native Americans, Christopher Columbus, Apollo, the moon. Each character says I. It is both anybody’s diary and everybody’s autobiography...” This is how des Pallières has described his last opus, whose modus operandi is somewhat reminiscent of the one used in Diane Wellington (2010): some editing of anonymous footage for the purposes of collective stories, with the aim of first developing a rare blend of sensations and emotions before gathering some knowledge. Gertrude Stein – who is depicted in ‘Portrait Incomplet’ – is behind all this. Her presence is mainly noticeable through that particular art of bringing things together into a fragile monument constantly threatening to collapse, dragging us down blissfully.