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March 14th–20th, 2016 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Cinema Elvire Popesco, Universitatea Națională de Muzică / the 6th edition

Berlinale Forum Expanded: Rebranding Humanity

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Berlinale Forum Expanded: Rebranding Humanity

With the support of: 

 
Curatorial presentation by Adina Marin
The theme program Rebranding Humanity brings together films which look into the human condition today, at a time when ever faster developments in our world change the very questions about the meaning of being human that have been addressed by artists and scholars for centuries. A could-be future environmental dystopia, a cine-philosophical essay on the eventual perfection of humankind, and a deeply personal attempt to cope with the alienation of exile, question and interpret the human predicament with the unlimited creative possibilities of filmic language, rejecting any limitations of creative freedom and providing a critical perspective and an expanded sense of cinematography.

A blend of reality and fiction unfolds against the backdrop of a desolate place in Untitled (Human Mask). There is a real story attached, that of the monkey trained to work as a waitress for the amusement of the clientele. And there is the dystopian setting somewhere in the Fukushima nuclear disaster exclusion zone, where Pierre Huyghe chooses to transpose her as a lonely figure appearing like the sole survivor of a nuclear disaster. We experience a disconcerting feeling as the camera hovers over the deserted place to follow the increasingly frantic movements of the hairy creature in a blue uniform and wearing a humanlike mask, like a human-animal hybrid trapped in a post-apocalyptic dystopia.
 
The future of humankind in a utopian vision that promises immortality and resurrection is approached by Anton Vidokle in This Is Cosmos, a complex narrative focusing on the works of Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov, and revolving around the indestructibility of energy and the enhance of the human condition as core concepts of cosmism, the movement that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century and survived communism. Drawing on powerful images filmed in Siberia, Crimea and Kazakhstan, and on close-ups of faces, the film is constructed like a visual and auditory collage abruptly interrupted at intervals by red screens with an alleged therapeutical effect. "This video can improve your health" says one of the red-screen captions. Undeniably, it will improve our cinephile experience.
 
And on a Different Note is a deeply personal insight into human behaviour in crisis situations. The author, Mohammad Shawky Hassan, is an Egyptian expat living in New York, who experiences the ongoing political developments in his country by exposing himself to a ceaseless flux of political Egyptian talk-shows. Shots of silent empty rooms with windows overlooking a backstreet intermix with the noise of the angry and bigoted discourse in Arab, of which but a few keywords are translated, making it even more effective. As the audio stream becomes overwhelmingly intense, a growing sense of alienation carries the viewer into the director’s interior world.

 
Directed by: 
PIERRE HUYGHE
A blend of reality and fiction unfolds against the backdrop of a desolate place in Pierre Huyghe's Untitled (Human Mask). There is a real story attached to it, that of the monkey trained to work as a waitress for the amusement of the clientele. And there is the dystopian setting somewhere in the Fukushima nuclear disaster exclusion zone, where the artist chooses to transpose her as a lonely figure appearing like the sole survivor of a nuclear disaster. We experience a disconcerting feeling as the camera hovers over the deserted place to follow the increasingly frantic movements of the hairy creature in a blue uniform and wearing a humanlike mask, like a human-animal hybrid trapped in a post-apocalyptic dystopia. (Adina Marin, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
ANTON VIDOKLE
The future of humankind in a utopian vision that promises immortality and resurrection is approached by Anton Vidokle in This Is Cosmos, a complex narrative focusing on the works of Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov, and revolving around the indestructibility of energy and the enhance of the human condition as core concepts of cosmism, the movement that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century and survived communism. Drawing on powerful images filmed in Siberia, Crimea and Kazakhstan, and on close-ups of faces, the film is constructed like a visual and auditory collage abruptly interrupted at intervals by red screens with an alleged therapeutical effect. 'This video can improve your health', says one of the red-screen captions. It is also bound to improve our cinephile experience. (Adina Marin, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
MOHAMMAD SHAWKY HASSAN
And on a Different Note is a deeply personal insight into human behaviour in crisis situations. The author, Mohammad Shawky Hassan, is an Egyptian expat living in New York, who experiences the ongoing political developments in his country by exposing himself to a ceaseless flux of political Egyptian talk-shows. Shots of silent empty rooms with windows overlooking a backstreet intermix with the noise of the angry and bigoted discourse in Arab, of which but a few keywords are translated, making it even more effective. As the audio stream becomes overwhelmingly intense, a growing sense of alienation carries the viewer into the director’s interior world. (Adina Marin, BIEFF)