Truth Piercing Stories: Larisa, Handsworth, Orestes

June 18, 2019

Curated by Sezgin Boynik, Tevfik Rada and Nagehan Uskan, Truth Piercing Stories: Larisa, Handsworth, Orestes program at DokuFest2019 will be presenting three films testing the limits of representation, and proposing a film language going beyond constraints of how stories of political struggles should be told.

Truth Piercing Stories: Larisa, Handsworth, Orestes

In Black Audio Film Collective’s Handsworth Songs amidst burning cars and police sirens, we hear a woman’s voice saying: “there are no stories in the riots, only the ghosts of other stories”.

This is a testimony of truth, declaring itself only in the moments of rupture and eruption.

With three films, the program aims to show and discuss three different stories of people, situations, and movements shaped in the rupture. What unites the story about Larisa Reissner with rioting urban black proletariat in the suburb of Birmingham and the story of Orestes set in Africa is not only the accounts of people’s dignified struggle for emancipation and liberty. It is as well about the art of telling the stories as an idea of poetry as a regime of truth.

Harun Farocki and Ingemo Engström’s film About Narration from 1975 is a film about the life of Larisa Reissner, poet and revolutionary, who betrayed her class and used her skills to tell stories of poor people from Hamburg to Afganistan.

Black Audio Film Collective’s first film Handsworth Songs from 1987 is about impossible stories of struggles of diaspora. Unlike narratives of longing and melancholia, Handsworth Songs is a story of immigration told through loudspeakers of underground dub music, rioting suburbs, and historical awakening.

Notes Towards an African Orestes is one of the most experimental and essayistic films of Pier Paolo Pasolini made in 1970. It sets a story of Orestes in contemporary Africa and is spliced with free jazz sounds, neo-colonial conditions, and commentaries of African students in Rome.

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