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The sensory power with which they survey their intimate and physical territories is the common thread linking the titles in this fifth short films program. In Siyah güneş (Black Sun), a man returns to the fatherland he left behind, which is now the Turkey of Erdoğan, whose landscapes, customs and objects awaken familiar memories. While a storm threatens and slows down his journey, we travel across this land with him, following the footsteps of an absent body. In this beautiful, fleeting and sensory film, Arda Çiltepe takes the time to linger on what connects to a shared emotional memory, such as the juicy tomatoes the son brings back home.
The crossing of a familiar territory is also the dramatic throughline of 16 de decembro: as she goes to pick up her younger brother from handball practice, Lucía is violently raped. Alvaro Gago explores the challenges and involvement of a body in combat. It’s initially an assured, then violated body, which later still becomes the protecting body of the older sister once again, whose vitality and resistance are the film’s strength. With Carne (Flesh), Camila Kater also suggests the female body as territory, wittily and sharply undermining the taboos that come with the different stages of its development. The animation technique changes accordingly with the different ages, sensibly complementing the intimate and surprising statements of women who embody all the complexities of femininity.
Last but not least, the body is at one with the territory. High up in the Rhone Valley, where Lake Geneva ends, is the Chavalon Thermal Power Plant. Julietta Korbel took over this place, which is a source of intrigue for travelers, in a film that sketches a glorious past in the face of a current wasteland. As the plant draws its last breath, a watchman takes care of it, with only a huge black and white dog keeping him company. Still Working links the destiny of man to the wasteland, by exploring the passage of time, and the threat of disappearance. Anaïs Moog fits right in with Tempête silencieuse (Silent Storm). She captures, from the North African coast, the dangerous beauty of the sea, which calls on exiled candidates before rising up like a horizontal wall, separating them forever from those who survive them. These are women whose words echo across the landscapes, be it their faces, the rocks or the sea, as so many territories of memory whose purpose is to prevent them from fading. That’s where cinema steps in.