Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Forum Expanded

Asbestos

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Mined, extracted, and woven, asbestos was the magic mineral. Towns became cities under its patronage, Persian kings entertained guests with its fireproof nature, and centuries of industry raked in the profits of its global application. We now live in the remains of this toxic dream, a dream that with the invention of electron microscopes revealed our material history as a disaster in the waiting. Yet the asbestos industry has far from left us, with extraction from the soil transforming to extraction from our walls. We are now faced with two options: to remove this material from our homes and start anew, or to build upon its residue. Removal is a dangerous and costly operation. So often we choose to live amongst it instead, choking out our walls with plastic tarping: the failed promises of modernism literally entombed all around us.
Shot in the mining township of Asbestos, Quebec, home to the world’s largest asbestos mine that only stopped extraction in 2012, the film is a meditation on the entanglement of the fragility of bodies, the nonlinearity of progress, and the persistence of matter.

by
Sasha Litvintseva
Graeme Arnfield

United Kingdom 2016

English

20’ · Colour

Crew

Director
Sasha Litvintseva, Graeme Arnfield
Cinematography
Sasha Litvintseva
Editing
Sasha Litvintseva, Graeme Arnfield
Music
Graeme Arnfield
Sound
Benjamin R. Taylor
Producers
Sasha Litvintseva, Graeme Arnfield

Biography

Sasha Litvintseva

Born in Murmansk, Russia in 1989, her work as an artist, filmmaker and researcher has been presented at numerous film festivals and in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Her film Asbestos screened in the 2017 Forum. She holds a PhD in media, communications and cultural studies from Goldsmiths, University of London, and lectures in film theory and practice at Queen Mary University of London.

Filmography

2013 Alluvion · Alluvion; 31 min. 2014 Immortality, Home and Elsewhere; 12 min. · Immortality, Home and Elsewhere · Evergreen · Evergreen; 49 min. 2015 Exile Exotic; 14 min. · Exile Exotic 2016 The Stability of the System · The Stability of the System; 18 min. · Asbestos · Asbestos 2017 Salarium 2019 Bilateria 2020 A Demonstration

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Graeme Arnfield

Graeme Arnfield, born in 1991 in the UK, is an artist, filmmaker, and curator living in London. He graduated with a Masters in Experimental Cinema at Kingston University. Producing sensory essay films from found, often viscerally embodied networked imagery, his films use methods of investigative storytelling to explore issues of circulation, spectatorship, and history. Research topics have included: the politics of digital networks, the material distribution of ecological matter, and the adaptive capacities of global and local histories. His work has been screened in different film festivals around the world. His short film Asbestos (with Sasha Litvintseva, 2016) was part of the 2017 Forum Expanded program.

Filmography

2014 I'm Sorry I Have to Run; 16 min. · I'm Sorry I Have to Run; 16 min. 2015 Sitting in Darkness; 15 min. · Sitting in Darkness; 15 min. 2016 Colossal Cave; 10 min. · Colossal Cave; 11 min. · Asbestos; with Sasha Litvintseva, 19 min., Forum Expanded 2017 · Asbestos 2017 Shouting at the Ground; 17 min. 2018 Pedigree; 21 min. 2019 The Phantom Menace; 36 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020

Produced by

Sasha Litvintseva

Graeme Arnfield