Perpetual Recurrences, 2016 (57’)

Subversive Film screening programme

Perpetual Recurrences, 2016 (57’)

Perpetual Recurrences is an exercise in programming films. Rather than curating a selection of entire films, this exercise curates a selection of scenes. Though they are montaged, the core of the exercise is to look at recurring patterns in Palestinian cinema and cinema on Palestine. The selected scenes gather around each other to form sequences. They do this dictated by repetitive occurrences be that location, political discourse, mise-en-scene, object and so on. From the classroom, to the militant in an open field delivering a speech with a tree somewhere in sight, to handheld camera shots in tight alleyways of refugee camps, to traveling shots from inside cars moving through streets, checkpoints and landscape, the scenes are plucked out from their heavily politicised filmic contexts, form and content wise. When placed in sequences they are screened to observe the political canopy of the moving image produced in and about Palestine over the past decades.

The fragments were extracted from a number of films and videos created over the last four decades about Palestine, tracking repetition in works from militant filmmaking during the Palestinian revolutionary period 1968-82, the post-Oslo period and the more contemporary films and videos. The following are the titles of the films and their authors from which the scenes of this programme were extracted.

  • “Oppressed People Are Always Right” (Nils Vest, 1976, Denmark);
  • “Al-Fatah” (Luigi Perelli, 1970, Italy);
  • “L’Olivier” (Groupe Cinéma Vincennes, 1976, France);
  • “Palestine – RAF” (Almut Hielscher, Manfred Vosz and Hans-Jürgen Weber, 1971, West Germany);
  • “The Palestinians” (Johan van der Keuken, 1975, Netherlands);
  • “Palestine RE: (Video Test)” (Mahdi Fleifel, 2011, Denmark);
  • “The Long March Of Return” (Ugo Adilardi, Carlo Schelliono and Paolo Sornaga, 1970, Italy);
  • “The Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War” (Masao Adachi and Koji Wakamatsu, 1971, Japan);
  • “Palestine In The Eye” (Mustafa Abu Ali, 1977, PLO);
  • “They Do Not Exist” (Mustafa Abu Ali, 1974, PLO);
  • “Fertile Memory” (Michel Khleifi, 1980, Palestine, Belgium, West Germany, Netherlands); “Pasolini Pa* Palestine” (Ayreen Anastas, 2005, Palestine);
  • “Home Movies Gaza” (Basma Alsharif, 2013, Palestine, France)

Subversive Film is a cinema research and production collective that aims to cast new light upon historic works related to Palestine and the region, to engender support for film preservation, and to investigate archival practices. Their long-term and ongoing projects explore this cine-historic field including digitally reissuing previously overlooked films, curating rare film screening cycles, subtitling rediscovered films, producing publications, and devising other forms of interventions. Formed in 2011, Subversive Film is based between Ramallah and Brussels.

Reem Shilleh interlaces research, moving image, curatorial, editing, archival, and writing practices to question the infinite formations of memory and collectivity. She lives and works between Brussels and Ramallah. Reem Shilleh’s practice is informed by a long research project on militant and revolutionary image practices in and around liberation and emancipatory struggles, in particular Palestine, its diaspora, and solidarity network. She is a member and co-founder of Subversive Film.

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Alternative Film/Video festival

Alternative Film/Video festival