Open City Documentary Festival

April 2024
across London
Event has passed

In Focus: Renate Sami 3

With Pyramids
(Mit Pyramiden)
Renate Sami | 1990 | Germany | 93’ | 16mm

“I could say Mit Pyramiden is a film about Egypt. About Cairo, about the people there, the streets, the history of the country, the sounds, the light, about the colours, the religions, the sand, the pyramids. I see and I hear. Cars honking, cars standing around everywhere, people in long clothes, including men. Renate Sami shows me everything as if I were seeing it for the first time. I’m the one discovering life in the images. I follow her traces in the other culture. I hear that I hear and I see that I see. Nothing is covered up with words or music. Life shows itself. It is as if a veil were continuously falling. It is like a cleansing of the senses. My intellect wakes up. The explosions of editing do this. Things collide that I would not have suspected. They generate a new space outside the film. The pleasure of the unexpected wonder between the images gives the film an energy all its own.” (Ute Aurand)

In collaboration with the Goethe-Institut & thanks to the Deutsche Kinemathek 

With an introduction by Ute Aurand

Ute Aurand
(Germany, 1957) has been a central figure of Berlin’s experimental film scene since the 1980s and is one the most significant filmmakers active in the 16mm diary and portrait tradition today. As a film programmer, she has championed work by women filmmakers, often showing her films in dialogue with those of fellow filmmakers and friends. Together with Renate Sami, Aurand organized the legendary screening series FilmSamstag at Kino Arsenal (1997-2007).

Renate Sami (Berlin, 1935) is a filmmaker and translator whose work resists narrow categorisations. Her films are extremely diverse in form and content, oscillating between the poetic, the observational and the political. As Ute Aurand writes, “Since her first film in 1975, each and every one of her works has emerged from the same strong desire to make this particular film. Whether long or short films, shot on 16 mm, Mini DV or HD, without sound or without dialogue or music – what they all have in common is the special inner freedom with which Renate Sami gives every film its form.”