News from the Locarno Festival

Recollection - Occupied by images

“Recollection” - Kamal Aljafari



Circular ruins. A bay on the sea. Empty, out-of-focus landscapes, battered by the wind. Then sounds that seem to come from elsewhere and, in the background, someone, human beings. Bit by bit, a city sees neighbourhoods disappear, memories wiped out, inhabitants lost. Territories occupied.

The occupiers, as though in mockery, think that this makes a perfect film set and shoot war films in war zones. But, for the very fact that it has been filmed, the image enters a different order of visibility, recording something that doesn’t appear to be visible with the naked eye…

Recollection is the story of someone – Kamal Aljafari – who doesn’t trust the images filmed by the occupiers and decides to collect them, to study them, to investigate them frame by frame. And what does he discover from these 24 lying frames a second called film? That they hide the truth: in the background of the shot – only apparently out of History – there they are, the occupied, alive and well, real actors in a fictional world. Recollection explores these ghosts teeming in the back and brings them to the foreground, restoring the present to them by restoring the past. He makes them travel through time, thanks to a mixture of sounds recorded in the same city today. The journey is hypnotic, repetitive, obsessive. The city is Jaffa, and it could be any in Palestine. 

Lorenzo Esposito

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