Indepth Arts News: |
1999-09-24 until 1999-10-03
UK United Kingdom
Film is one of the most powerful mediums for evoking the complexities, both positive and negative, of life in the contemporary city. Urban Exposure is an international programme of feature films and shorts which explores the theme of the postcolonial city and the dynamics of urban experience at the end of the twentieth century. From intimate, personal stories and the harsh realities of ethnic conflict to transient tales and symbolic journeys, these films articulate experiences of migration, isolation and belonging.
Urban Exposure brings together the work of established and less well-known filmmakers from a diversity of cultural backgrounds in a compelling and varied exploration of city life, both lived and imagined. While the bleak and hard-hitting La Haine (Mathieu Kassowitz, France, 1995) cracks open Paris as a city of ethnic conflict, the dreamily romantic Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, Senegal, 1973) suggests Paris as a promised land, the desired destination for a young couple eager to leave their impoverished homeland. Mixed-race relationships in the contemporary European city are the theme of the ultimately up-beat Everything Will Be Fine (Angelina Maccarone, Germany, 1997) and the more desolate October (Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, 1997), set in Russia and depicting a doomed love affair. The programme also includes the Ragga-to-riches adventure Babymother (Julian Henriques, UK, 1998) and an exposé of the exploitation of immigrant labour in La Promesse (Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne Bel, Belgium, 1996).
Take Away Productions, a unique East End-based company of young Asian filmmakers, writers and producers showcase their work in a programme of shorts. Other shorts, including Lisl Ponger’s highly acclaimed Passagen (Austria, 1996) and Maureen Blackwood’s poetic Home Away From Home (London, 1993), focus on personal encounters, from the intimate and domestic to the fleeting and transient.
Urban Exposure concludes the season Celluloid Cities: Raw and Uncut, and coincides with the publication of Reading the Contemporary, an anthology of writings on contemporary African visual culture, edited by Olu Oguibe and Okwui Enwezor. Reading the Contemporary will be launched at the Lux Centre on Thursday 23 September following a discussion on the theme of the postcolonial city featuring Okwui Enwezor, Isaac Julien, Professor Sarat Maharaj, Olu Oguibe (tbc) and Gilane Tawadros.