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Cinema at the Center: Dystopian Futures

Thursday, July 11, 2019, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Cinema at the Center: Dystopian Futures
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A screening organized in conjunction with Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s and Saya Woolfalk’s exhibitions
Presenters: Artists Saya Woolfalk and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum in conversation with Valentine Umansky, Curator of their exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati


Movie: Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017, 42’, fiction

The Island is a short film shot on Pulau Bidong, an island off the coast of Malaysia, which became the longest-operating refugee camp after the Vietnam War. The artist and his family were some of the 250,000 people who inhabited the island between 1978 and 1991. After the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees shut the camp down in 1991, Pulau Bidong became overgrown by jungle.The film takes place in a dystopian future in which the last man on earth ­-having escaped forced repatriation to Vietnam- rescues a UN scientist who has washed ashore after the world’s last nuclear battle. By weaving together footage from Bidong’s past with a narrative set in its future, Nguyen questions the individual’s relationship to history, trauma, nationhood, and displacement.

Preceded by: Neil Beloufa, Kempinski, 2007, 14’, fiction

Shot in Mali, Neil Beloufa’s Kempinski is a science fiction documentary featuring interviews with Malians as they imagine their visions of the future.Through a series of striking tableaux, Beloufa captures a sense of vertigo and unease by adeptly interweaving fantasy with reality.A specific rule governs the film: interviewed people imagine the future but speak about it in the present tense.


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