Open City Documentary Festival

Shorts: Absent Collaborators

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Unreliable narrators; dramatic reconstructions; testimony remade as myth. Voices summoned from the past are translated into new realities in this short film programme. Total runtime: 83’

Spit on the Broom
Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich | 2019 | USA | 11’

Structured around excerpts from the public record, newspaper articles from over the course of 100 years, and a visual tapestry of fable and myth as a way to introduce a history that remains secret, Spit on the Broom is the result of two years of research in partnership with historic women’s group the United Order of Tents, a secret organization of black women founded on the underground railroad in the United States. 

Cloud Forest
Eliane Esther Bots| 2019 | Netherlands | 18’

A fairytale-like film in which five Dutch girls take the viewer on an imaginative journey through the memories and images they have of their parents’ experiences of the war in the former Yugoslavia; a war which the girls haven’t physically experienced themselves.

Once Removed
Lawrence Abu Hamdan | 2019 | Lebanon | 29’

A portrait of the time travelling life and work of Bassel Abi Chahine, a 30 year old writer and historian who  has managed to obtain the most comprehensive inventory of extremely rare objects, photographs and interviews of the PLA and PSP socialist militia led by Walid Joumblatt during the Lebanese civil war. 

Alice’s Four Stories
Myriam Jacob-Allard | 2019 | Canada | 6’ 

In Alice’s Four Stories, Myriam Jacob-Allard explores a story which, due its persistence, has become part of the filmmaker’s family lore. This story, told countless times by her grandmother, is an implausible tale of the time, when she was a child, a hurricane worthy of The Wizard of Oz, picked her up and sent her flying. 

Good Ended Happily
Basir Mahmood | 2019  | Pakistan | 13’

In the artist’s second collaboration with Lollywood, a Lahore-based film industry that is centered close to his home, Mahmood assigns them the task of recreating and filming the after-images of the American Special Forces operation that resulted in the death of the infamous Al Qaeda supremo, Osama Bin Laden.

Screening includes Q&A with filmmakers, hosted by Julian Ross.

Please be advised that a film within this programme contains depictions of death which some viewers may find distressing.

Available:  Block 1 (Wed 9th Sept midday – Sat 12th Sept midnight BST)

Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.