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Film: Rules of War
Director: Guido Hendrikx
Language: Afrikaans / English (with azerbaijani subtitles)
Age limit: +12
About: The lands of South Sudan have witnessed unceasing violence, from Anglo-Egyptian colonial suppression through today's civil war. Guido Hendrikx's curious observational documentary studies an outsider named Albert as he crosses the inlands of this beautiful, wounded country in a speedboat. Employed by a European humanitarian organization, Albert comes with a mission: to teach this country's fighting soldiers the Rules of War. Developed during the Geneva Conventions, these Rules intend to protect soldiers and civilians against inhumane treatment. Armed with his own military experience, his steadfast determination, and a set of miniature figurines, Albert earnestly delivers his pitch to exhausted young soldiers. Misunderstandings surface again and again in this hyper-masculine space, but by and large, all parties are determined to get something, anything out of the exchange.
Film: They saw Stalin
Director: Alex Stoyanov
Language: No dialogue
Age limit: +12
About: The film is based on a chronicle of Stalin's performance at the Grand Theatre in Moscow in 1937, taken from a YouTube historical channel. The chronicle was created by the Soviet government for propaganda purposes. I remounted the movie and played the video in reverse, slowing it down by 5 times. About 90 percent of the image is reversed. Russia is a country of repetition in a historical context. But for me it is important in this film not just to turn back time, but to focus on the very perception of time, to demonstrate its fluidity, cyclicity.
Theatre, initially, is a performative space. In the classical sense, it is divided into artists and spectators. But in this chronicle, these roles are more complicated. Sometimes it's hard to say for sure: the audience clap because they like what they see and hear, or because they play the role of spectators in this theatre.
The film is called "They saw Stalin" - just like the famous painting by the Soviet socialist realist artist D. Mochalsky