INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN (Robert J. Flaherty, 1931)

Robert J. Flaherty’s visual ironies contradict the propagandistic aims of Industrial Britain, a documentary paean to British labor of various kinds, from “the coal fields of England, Scotland and Wales” to British steel, which “is used to build bridges, dams and power stations across half the world.” The confident, borderline bombastic narrator’s passing mention of […]

THE PREFAB STORY (Věra Chytilová, 1979)

Written by Eva Kacírková and herself, Věra Chytilová brilliantly directed the satirical Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliste—Panelstory, in short. The setting is a vast apartment building complex just outside Prague; the complex is partially occupied, partly still under construction, with all the attendant machine-noise, mud and debris due to the latter. The overflowing, mostly […]

KHADAK (Peter Brosens, Jessica Hope Woodworth, 2006)

“A river awaits the death of its waters.” From Belgium, Germany and Netherlands, Khadak begins in the vast, frozen regions of the Mongolian steppes, land invested with spirits, including ancestral spirits of its nomadic inhabitants. The film, written and directed by Peter Brosems and Jessica Hope Woodworth, focuses on a family: Bagi, a 17-year-old shepherd, […]