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In Focus: Betzy Bromberg 2

A Darkness Swallowed

Betzy Bromberg | 2005 | USA | 78’ | 16mm | English spoken

“A Darkness Swallowed opens on a pair of faded photographs showing an old, dented car, one with a child standing beside it and the other without. Speaking in voice-over, Bromberg references a past event, once that will forever haunt her although it occurred before her birth. The film then sinks downward, dipping below the surface of the rational world to mine the seemingly infinite layers of the past stored within the fleshy entrails, chalky bones, sinewy spider webs and gnarled ligaments of both the body and the Earth. Noises – of clanging metal, bells, heartbeats and jazz music, to name only a few – combine to create a dense sound environment, a seemingly immense, three-dimensional space for contemplation. As with all of Bromberg’s films, there are images that, once seen, will stay with you forever, and then there are the colours – rich, luscious hues to be savoured slowly. Dedicated to the filmmaker’s mother, the film is also a gift to us, a reminder of cinema’s organic basis in chemistry and light, and of its ability to take us deep inside.” (Holly Willis)

In the presence of Betzy Bromberg