Danièle Huillet (1936-2006) and Jean-Marie Straub (1933-2022) were a French duo of filmmakers who made about twenty films together between 1963 and 2006. Their partnership resulted in a beautiful and demanding oeuvre, which deeply affected the history of cinema. The work of Straub and Huillet is characterised by a rigorous and uncompromising form, which often involved long takes, minimalistic aesthetics, and a focus on text and performance.
For six years now, Sabzian has asked a guest to write a State of Cinema, a text that holds cinema up to the light, an invitation to reflect on what cinema means, could mean, or should mean today. This Collection brings together all the texts of the invited speakers of the past years.
This year, Sabzian and Bozar are delighted to welcome the French filmmaker Alice Diop for the State of Cinema 2023.
The Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa made his first film, Blood, in 1989. In 1994, Down to Earth followed, which was filmed in Cape Verde. Costa came back from the island with a number of parcels and letters from Cape Verdeans he had met there, addressed to their relatives and friends who had emigrated to Portugal. His task as a postman brought him to Lisbon’s Fontainhas neighbourhood, where many migrants were living at the time. After this first contact with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, Costa kept returning there, filming Ossos in 1997, the first instalment in a series of films he would make with the inhabitants of Fontainhas.
Reality Would Have to Begin
Harun Farocki (1944-2014) was a German filmmaker, author, film critic and lecturer. Many of his works question the relationship between warfare, capitalism and representation. His oeuvre expresses a unique vision in which technical images or simulations, photography and cinema are contrasted with what is known as “reality”.
The Films of Anne-Marie Miéville
“The love experience will be reshaped into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman.” This quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, which adorns the end of Lou n’a pas dit non (1994), encapsulates the essence of Anne-Marie Miéville’s quest, which is driven by a universal, imperishable question: how to live together?
De kleinste gebaren
Fernand Deligny (1913-1996) was een Franse pedagoog die een leven lang werkte met delinquente, psychisch kwetsbare en mentaal beperkte kinderen en jongeren, maar valt evengoed schrijver, poëet, filosoof én cineast te noemen.
The Cinema of Kathleen Collins
Born in 1942, raised in Jersey City, and educated at Skidmore and the Sorbonne, Kathleen Collins was an activist with SNCC during the Civil Rights Movement who went on to carve out a career for herself as a playwright and filmmaker, during a time when black women were rarely seen in those roles.
“What we see on the screen, or in any picture representing the solidity of Palestinians in the interior, is only that, a utopian image making possible a connection between Palestinian individuals and Palestinian land.” – Edward Said
By showing the lived complexity of life under occupation, in all its contradictions and its singularities, Michel Khleifi’s film marked an important shift in the history of Palestinian cinema, one that he would explore further in his subsequent work.
To Be a Documentary Filmmaker
Cecilia Mangini (1927-2021) was the first Italian woman with the audacity to step behind the camera to document the socio-political transformations of post–World War II. A photographer, essayist, and filmmaker, she dedicated her whole life to militant cinema, an adjective – she used to say – “that today sounds like a profanity”.