Open City Documentary Festival

across London
Event has passed

If From Every Tongue it Drips

Sharlene Bamboat | 2021 | Canada | 68’| digital

Made between three locations, If From Every Tongue it Drips is assembled through a call and response exchange of sound, text and image. Interested in the framework of voice, vibration, time, sound and language that quantum physics explores, director Sharlene Bamboat’s film emerges from an exchange of theoretical entanglements but is practiced and rendered through bodily ones. In Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, Ponni writes Rekhti, a form of 19th century Urdu queer poetry as Sarala acts as camera person. On receiving the captured images, Bamboat based in Montreal, Canada passes back directorial instruction along with fragments of quantum theory which Sarala reads, this time filmed by Ponni. As the digital images repeatedly transcend geographic location to reach Bamboat, she lays her commentary on Sarala and Ponni’s images, overlapping her voice on theirs. Travelling further to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the recordings reach Sharlene’s frequent collaborator, sound designer and musician Richy Carey, who enters a third space of deep listening, co-creating a sonic landscape that allows a further exchange of polyvocality through sound and image. Into this assemblage, Bamboat weaves references to the interconnected impacts of British colonialism and Indian nationalism on contemporary poetry, dance and music in South Asia, nodding to her ongoing interest in both the many ways that popular culture can be politicised, as well as the sensuous possibilities of its reclamation.

This screening of If from Every Tongue it Drips is a collaboration with Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival and is accompanied by a specially commissioned video performance by Toronto-based musician Nick Dourado and writer-programmer Aaditya Agarawal, who trace the cultural lineages of music in the film spanning geographies, language and social movements.