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With ‘Looking from Afar’, Iberodocs is introducing, for the first time, a shorts only curated programme. Here experimentation is key and the mixing or juxtaposing of elements within the same film reflects on the complex intersections of contemporary experience while looking back in time, attempting to make sense of it.
Language and formats; materials and structures; nations and their conflicting desires; remote places and long gone times: The filmmakers presented in this programme cohesively mix diverse or opposing elements, developing intuitive and clever structures. They create portraits of their worlds, their homes or themselves that are at times poetic and delicate and at others dark and harsh.
In these six films, the perception of the self and its surroundings seems to expand or sharpen when seen from a distance through space, time, matter or the intangible.
While Mouramateus is facing the end of his Fortaleza adolescence from his new Lisbon home in The Party and Barking, in the ghostly Echo Chamber, Moncayo, based in France, goes back to his native Colombia to roll along its obsolete railways, across the wild and the ruins. If in Ruby, Scherer, Loureiro and Soster create a double of Scherer, who moves to his old family home and country, to live amongst bromelias and honour dead foxes laying flowers in their eyes, in Le Boudin, Lamas also doubles up her “subject” as a way to cope with the savagery of voice and memory. Finally, in Neither God nor Santa Maria, Delgado and Girón hover over the eerie landscape of Lanzarote, where other-worldly male voices, set against old women’s faces, tell stories of witches while, in Occidente, Vaz ascends even higher, reaching a cosmos of signs through post-colonial dialectics and quirky china sets, landing us on the pure material and the grand abstract.
In a journey starting with the furiously mundane and its sublimation, passing through the darkness of death, the hypnotic transcendent and finally the infinite, we will take you far and wide.
Pedro Vaz Simões
Shorts Programme Curator