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In a Nearby Field + Hit Him on the Head with a Hard, Heavy Hammer

 In a Nearby Field

Laida Lertxundi & Ren Ebel | 2023 | Spain | 18’ | 35mm | Spanish, English & Basque spoken, English subtitles

A woman, a man and a young child live together in the Basque Country. In a Nearby Field is Laida Lertxundi’s and Ren Ebel’s first collaborative film (having worked together in all of Lertxundi’s films since 025 Sunset Red) – a collective composition that hints to the delicate balancing act of maintaining a family. Filmmaking becomes a part of a couple’s (and a family’s) life, just like cooking, cleaning, playing, caring for one another, exercising, learning. Having relocated to Spain in 2019, the Californian desert and blue skies so characteristic of Lertxundi’s early films make way for verdant Basque mountain landscapes. In a Nearby Field suggests new directions in Lertxundi’s film work whilst remaining consistent with the ongoing foregrounding of the tension between construction and reality in her cinema.

Hit Him on the Head with a Hard, Heavy Hammer

Rebecca Jane Arthur | 2023 | Belgium | 49’ | Digital | English spoken

Taking her father’s handwritten memoir as a point of departure, Rebecca Jane Arthur sets out to retrace his journey as a child evacuee during the Second World War. Using the text as a script, Arthur elicits performances from those encountered in Wales and in South London parks that are almost hypnotic in their repetition – a repetition echoed by the alliteration in the title. Whilst in his memoir, her father battled with the difficulty of writing about one’s family without mythologising them, here Arthur dialogues with his words, returning to the sites of his childhood to reflect on mortality, memory and familial bonds. A re-enactment of sorts that collapses the 80 year-gap between both journeys to contemplate “how we pen our pasts and how they can be re-told”. 

With the generous support of the Delegation of Flanders-Embassy of Belgium and supported by a grant from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers hosted by María Palacios Cruz.