24 Feb: Short Film Nite – four short films about the border
A screening of the films Performing The Border (1999) and Europlex (2003) by Ursula Biemann. In these two short films, Biemann tracks the activities that enact the border. In the first, we see the feminisation of the border in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and in the second the repeated crossings that link Europe and Africa. Also a screening and discussion with filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins, creator of 1000 Voices (2009) an animated film featuring answer phone messages from people held in a detention centre in the UK, and Surpriseville (2010) a documentary about the gated community residents of Surprise, Arizona and their attempts to make themselves as safe as possible.
17 March: The Nine Muses – John Akomfrah – 2010
Akomfrah offers an existentialist rumination on the experience of migration to post-war Britain in this docu-essay that intertwines archival images and original footage shot in Alaska; accompanied by voice-over readings of texts by Shakespeare, Beckett, Milton and Nietzsche, and music by Schubert, Wagner and Arvo Part.
21 April: Ghosts – Nick Broomfield – 2006
Based on the true story of the Morcambe Bay cockle-picking disaster of 2004, this film follows Chinese undocumented immigrant Ai Qin to Europe and reveals the dangerous exploitation of migrant labour in the UK.
26 May: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada – Tommy Lee Jones – 2005
Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial debut is a story of friendship, vengence, and one man’s commitment to fulfill a promise for his friend that sees him crossing the Rio Grande pursued by police and Border Patrol.
23 June: In This World – Michael Winterbottom – 2002
Using small handheld digital video cameras and non-professional actors, this semi-fictional docu-drama tracks two asylum seekers on their journey from a refugee camp in Peshawar to the UK, following the “silk road” through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey towards London.
21 July: District 9 – Neill Blomkamp – 2009
A camp in Johannesburg, South Africa is the setting of this science fiction body-horror drama in which an alien population of refugees is faced with eviction from the militarized ghetto where they are confined and exploited.
(with thanks to Rachel Palmer, Leila Whitley, and Maria Jose Pantoja who will, (variously/sometimes vicariously), be in discussion with John Hutnyk after the screenings).