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Grab and Run at Glasgow Women’s Library

Our second screening of Grab and Run with Glasgow Women’s Library will take the form of an ‘interrupted screening’. Audience members join one another around tables and the film is interrupted at key points to allow time and space for discussion and reflection.

Free, but ticketed. Tickets available from Glasgow Women’s Library.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Woman, Native, Other | Trinh T Minh-ha Retrospective

“He belongs to that fraction of humanity which for centuries has made other fractions the objects of contempt and exploitation, then, when it saw the handwriting on the wall, set about to give them back their humanity.”

Trinh T Minh-ha is a filmmaker, writer and composer. Her practice centres around intersection of gender and colonialism. Her film work exposes the processes of othering and the politics of representation. She is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

Women, Native, Other at the Pipe Factory will present two of Trinh T Minh-ha’s early film works in series. Poignant and at times disorientating, these early films not only demonstrate the beauty of film but also demand the viewer to question oneself, as spectator.

Reassemblage (7-10 October)

1982 | 40m (loop)

Women are the focus but not the object of Trinh T Minh-ha’s influential first film, a complex visual study of the women of rural Senegal. Through a complicity of interaction between film and spectator, REASSEMBLAGE reflects on documentary filmmaking and the ethnographic representation of cultures.

“With uncanny eloquence, REASSEMBLAGE distills sounds and images of Senegalese villagers and their surroundings to reconsider the premises and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. By disjunctive editing and a probing narration this ‘documentary’ strikingly counterpoints the authoritative stance typical of the National Geographic approach.” — Laura Thielan

Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (8-15 October)

1989 | 1hr 48m (loop)

Of marriage and loyalty: “Daughter, she obeys her father/ Wife, she obeys her husband/ Widow, she obeys her son.”

This profoundly personal documentary explores the role of Vietnamese women historically and in contemporary society. Using dance, printed texts, folk poetry and the words and experiences of Vietnamese women in Vietnam—from both North and South—and the United States, Trinh’s film challenges official culture with the voices of women. A theoretically and formally complex work, SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM explores the difficulty of translation, and themes of dislocation and exile, critiquing both traditional society and life since the war.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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I Want To Be A People’s Representative

Can a documentary camera be a tool for democracy in China? Jia Zhitan certainly thinks so, and wields his camera like an anti-bureaucratic weapon. Jia, a member of Caochangdi’s influential Villagers Documentary Project (organizer Wu Wenguang has been training local villagers to use digital video cameras to record their participation in ultra-local politics), wants to run to be a delegate to the National People’s Congress. He wins the first round, but is deemed unqualified by officials for reasons they keep to themselves. As the irrepressibly scrappy and stubborn Jia seeks explanations and redress from ever higher levels of authority, he records their interactions scenes that would play as entertaining satiric comedy if they weren’t so frustratingly real.

Part of the cancelled 11th Annual Beijing Independent Film Festival.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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The VaChina Monologues

“Vagina….I’ve said it!” Leading Chinese queer filmmaker Fan Popo chronicles the past 10 years of performances of Eve Ensler’s famous feminist episodic play throughout China following its debut by The Chinese Department of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou in December 2003. At times banned and partly censored, performances have taken over university campuses, theatres, cafes, villages, streets and public transport. Popo’s film portrays its growing popularity as a process of self-awakening, of learning and of localisation, the ten-year look-back showing the many ways in which it has played a vital role in giving people courage to find their voice.

Part of the cancelled 11th Annual Beijing Independent Film Festival.

We will be joined after the screening for a Q&A with filmmaker Fan Popo.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Kim Jong-il’s Comedy Club

A journalist with no scruples and two comedians travel to North Korea with a mission – to challenge the conditions of the smile in one of the world’s most notorious regimes. On the pretext of being a small theatre troupe on a cultural exchange visit from Denmark, The Red Chapel was given permission to travel to North Korea with the objective of performing at special events for selected audiences. But in reality the small troupe was comprised of a group who had no such intentions.

Presented in collaboration with Matchbox Cineclub.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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SPIN

Donald Trump’s denunciation of “fake news” has been so effective a rallying cry it would be easy to conclude – and no doubt he’d do little to dissuade you – that his administration had pioneered the concept. Depending on who you ask, the denunciation of “fake news” is either an antidote to propaganda or simply next-level manipulation. Brian Springer’s 1995 documentary, which uses pirated satellite feeds to reveal US media personalities’ contempt for their viewers, puts the concept of fake news and a gaslighting presidency in context. TV outtakes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television – a system that silences public debate and enforces the exclusion of anyone outside those who manufacture the news.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Control Room

‘I’m not saying it’s the truth,’ director Jehane Noujaim once said of her award-winning film, ‘it’s our truth.’ Control Room provides insight into the Arabic network Al Jazeera’s presentation of the second Iraq war to their worldwide audience. Noujaim’s film follows the journey of three characters from Al Jazeera and US Central Command through the beginning of the Iraq war, in order to tell the larger story of how truth is gathered, presented, and ultimately created by those who deliver it. Control Room calls into question many of the prevailing images and positions offered up by the US news media, while exposing the institutional bias on both sides.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Left on Purpose

Midway through the filming of a documentary about his life as an anti war activist, Mayer Vishner declares that his time has passed and that his last political act will be to commit suicide – and he wants it all on camera. Now the director must decide whether to turn off his camera or use it to keep his friend alive. Left on Purpose is an award-winning feature length documentary that confronts the growing issues of aging, isolation and end of life choices through an intense character driven story of the relationship between filmmaker and subject. With humour and heart, it provides a rare cinematic look at what it means to be a friend to someone in pain.

Director Justin Schein will be in attendance to introduce the film and to take part in the panel discussion, Truth & Power 2: The Ethics of the Documentary Filmmaker, which directly follows the screening.

Preceded by Dan Goldes’ Arrested (Again) 4m, a profile of activist Karen Topakian’s unceasing commitment to exercising her first amendment rights.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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We Are Humanity

We Are Humanity is a film about a way of life under threat. An emotionally-driven documentary that takes you on an immersive and revealing journey into the seemingly utopian lives of the Jarawa people. Living on the Andaman Islands of India, the Indian government are attempting to forcibly assimilate them into modern society. The Jarawas are treated like animals in zoo by tourists and Indian scientists attempting to “educate” them.

We Are Humanity deals implicitly with the issues surrounding representing the Other, an Other with no access to a means to represent themselves. Through this film we come to understand not only the destructive effects of global capitalism, but also the complexity and commonality of the human experience.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Stranger in Paradise

In a classroom in Sicily, just inside the walls of Fortress Europe, recently arrived refugees receive lessons from a teacher who has some rather unbalanced traits. One moment he mercilessly rejects the refugees – the next he embraces them. A plea that borders on the immoral; a welcome charged with a guilt complex; and the compromise between these, made policy. Operating at the intersection of documentary and fiction, Stranger in Paradise is an unflinching film essay investigating the power relations between Europe and refugees.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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