Cinematik invites viewers to films from scarred lands

12. August 2022

The Scarred Lands section presents a selection of five films that reflect the relationship of man to specific territories from an anthropological, historical and, above all, political point of view. Here we follow a specific bond of a person to a place – where a person has lived for generations, from where he was expelled, where he left a strong mark. But at the same time, we see how the landscape marked this human being, how it entered their lives.

“Even though the films take place on different continents, in places thousands of kilometers apart, the people in these territories are united by the struggle against various forms of colonialism. They have to defend their historical ties to the territory and their own memory because someone else is claiming their lives. Someone who wants to scar their country,” explains Tomáš Hudák, a member of the Cinematik program team, who is in charge of the dramaturgy of the Scarred Lands section.

One of these films is the documentary House in the Fields (2017) by British-Moroccan filmmaker Tala Hadid, capturing life in an isolated Amazigh community in the High Atlas region. It follows two teenage sisters – the older one is about to get married and leave for Casablanca, the younger one dreams of a career as a lawyer, but she doesn’t know if she will be allowed to do so. Both question what it means to leave the space where they lived their whole lives, but also the expectations of their surroundings. The intimate poetic film talks about the relationship of man to the geographical and cultural environment that surrounds us.

The word Eami (Eami, 2022) means both forest and world in the language of the indigenous people of today’s Paraguay and Bolivia. However, it is also the name of a girl protagonist who is expelled from her native land due to land trading and deforestation. Her community is falling apart and she wanders the forest. In a minimalist story, Paraguayan director Paz Encina introduces us to local cosmology, philosophy and myths, which she interweaves with the native population’s narrative of forced eviction. The result is a powerful sensory experience based on beautiful images as well as sophisticated film music.

The film Landscapes of Resistance, (2021) directed by Marta Popivoda materializes the memory traces of the elderly Sonja, who years ago joined the anti-Nazi resistance as a partisan. However, we rarely see her in the film. Instead, we travel through the land that she herself walked on 80 years ago, as if these lands had her story written on them. The mundaneness and humility of her heroism contrasts with the war monuments that we meet on the way. Sonja is an engaging storyteller and an inspiration in a world where the far right is on the rise again.

Until recently, Australia had the special status of Terra Nullius, or No Man’s Land. According to the creative duo Soda Jerk, however, the name TERROR NULLIUS, 2018, is more suitable for it. The original remix, assembled from more than 170 film, television and news materials, presents Australia as a country that was created on colonial violence and where panic over immigration or LGBTI+ people still shapes public discourse. A funny and chilling satire with a post-apocalyptic touch, it overturns the film canon to talk about the rights of indigenous people, toxic masculinity or political populism.

In the picture 5 Broken Cameras, 2011, amateur cameraman Emad Burnat managed to capture the struggle of his village in the West Bank for several years against the colonial effort to rob it of its territories in favor of illegal construction. An intensely personal film about a new reality with a fence that suddenly separates the population from their fields, about weekly demonstrations or harassment and violence by Israeli security forces, is staged in five acts – according to Burnat’s five cameras, which shoot one after the other. broken in battle.