The same question is raised in Im Tekhayekh, Ha'Olam Yekhayekh Elekha (Smile, and the world will smile back, the al-Haddad Family, Ehab Tarabieh, Yoav Gross), that focuses on nightly invasions by the Israeli armed forces into Palestinian homes. The law states that these searches may be carried out without probable cause. But the army can't stop the Palestinians from filming the events. As we watch the invasions, we see that the presence of the camera breaks up this power dynamic, almost creating a balance within an imbalance. The film is by the left-wing Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem, whose film Susya (Dani Rosenberg, Yoav Gross, Muhammad Nawaj'ah, Berlinale Shorts 2011) we showed three years ago.
Are there any particularly noticeable formal characteristics in this year's programme?
Definitely: a preoccupation with the film as a medium. The material becomes a subject, is reflected upon, developed by hand. In LABORAT, Guillaume Cailleau exposes his analogue film material to the same procedure carried out on mice at a oncological research lab in Berlin. The radiation dose is applied directly to the film material. In doing so, LABORAT isn't pretentious, just very exact in its observation. It follows its own structural system, formally speaking. But it does take the viewer by the hand - by clearly positioning the events at the beginning of the film: Oncological Research Lab, Berlin, January 8 & 9, 2011.
This works similarly in Taprobana by Gabriel Abrantes. The viewer would be totally lost without the presentation at the outset. That way, in Taprobana, we know that we are in present-day Sri Lanka, where the national poet of Portugal, Luis Vas de Camões, lived in exile and wrote the epic poem "The Lusiads" in the 16th century. Gabriel Abrantes shows us his vision of this artistic creation process.
Protecting the original spark
Will you structure the programme around the powerful, longer fiction films like Tant qu'il nous rest des fusils à pomp, Washingtonia and Taprobana, like last year?