This screening is part of Storytelling for Earthly Survival, a collaboration between De Uitkijk and Kriterion. The program will include documentaries, short films and feature length films, all related to environmental issues and the relationship between humans and nature.
Black Sea Files is a territorial research on the Caspian oil geography: the world’s oldest oil extraction zone. A giant new subterranean pipeline traversing the Caucasus will soon pump Caspian crude to the West. This line runs through the film like a central thread. However, the trajectory followed by the narrative is not linear.
The documentary sheds light on oil workers, farmers, refugees and prostitutes who live along the pipeline and contribute to a wider human geography in Black Sea Files. These figures oppose the singular and powerful signifying practices of oil corporations and oil politicians. Drawing on investigatory fieldwork as practiced by anthropologists, journalists and secret intelligence agents, Black Sea Files comments on artistic methods in the field and the ways in which information and visual intelligence is detected, circulated or withheld.
13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (2020)
Taking its title from the poem by Wallace Stevens 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, the film is composed of a series of attempts at looking and being looked at. Beginning as a city state commission under the name and attitude of Unschool, the film became a kaleidoscope of the experiences, questions, and wonders of a couple of high school students after a year of experiences with filmmaker Ana Vaz, questioning what cinema can be. Here the camera becomes an instrument of inquiry, a pencil, a song. “The film is a song you can see,” wrote one of the students in a collective constellation of phrases and drawings made during one of the workshops. The phrase is a perfect description of a film that explores a nascent ecology of the senses.
Introduction by Jeff Diamanti
Diamanti is Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and has been involved in many projects related to the environmental crisis. His first book, Climate and Capital in the Age of Petroleum: Locating Terminal Landscapes, which describes the destructive relationship between climate and capital through the exponential growth of the petroleum industry over the last 40 years, will be coming out soon with Bloomsbury.