A tale of modern times in New York City.
The Hottest August (2019) addresses social, political and economic climates, as well as the pending environmental apocalypse. Haunted by the specter of global warming, this meticulously composed piece was shot in its entirely in August, 2017.
This wasn’t, statistically speaking, the hottest August in American history. What I suspect Story was referring to is a world that is simmering towards its’ boiling point. Wandering through the five boroughs of NYC, Story asks ordinary people, “How are you feeling about the future?”
The result is a mosaic of ephemeral and eternal attitudes towards ecological damage, economic inequality and intensifying racism. A geographer by trade, Story maps the underlying psychology of the city as she documents different insecurities and anxieties. After the film’s premiere at the True/False Film Festival, Story described the movie as being “almost like a soil sample.” An indicator of collective consciousness in the city, at this moment in human history.
A disembodied voice-over track, reading excerpts from Karl Marx, Annie Dillard and Zadie Smith, lends the film an experimental and poetic undertone. Drawing a dialogue from the intellectual and the ordinary cultivates the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm.
In an interview with No Film School; Story states that, “The film is not just an experiment in form, it’s an experiment in method: What happens if you pick a city and pick a month and try to learn something about the collective experience of living in this historical time? What would it mean to try to create an archive of the present that we can learn from? That we don’t have to wait 50 years to learn from?”
Catch it tonight, Sunday 04 Aug at DokuKino. 20:00.
Encore screening: Tuesday 06 Aug at Lumbardhi Indoor. 18:00.
Story will be present at both screenings for post-film Q&A.