98weeks from Beirut have been invited to present a film program in context of this season to and at Beirut, in Cairo. They proposed a screening that brings together a series of films that critically unfolds the notions of resistance and state from different geographical and historical perspectives; thus inviting to reconsider these notions and what they could mean in different contexts. The program is part of an ongoing film exchange between 98weeks in Beirut and Beirut in Cairo.
Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years without Images
66 minutes, 2011
by Eric Baudelaire
Fusako — leader of an extremist left-wing faction, the Japanese Red Army, involved in a number of terrorist operations — has been in hiding in Beirut for almost 30 years. May, her daughter, born in Lebanon, only discovered Japan at the age of twenty-seven, after her mother’s arrest in 2000. Masao Adachi is a screenwriter and radical activist filmmaker, committed to armed struggle and the Palestinian cause, also underground in Lebanon for several decades before being sent back to his native country. In his years as a film director, he had been one of the instigators of a ‘theory of landscape’ — fukeiron: through filming landscapes, Adachi sought to reveal the structures of oppression that underpin and perpetuate the political system. Anabasis is the name given, since Xenophon, to wandering, circuitous homeward journeys. Filmed on Super 8 mm, and in the manner offukeiron, contemporary panoramas of Tokyo and Beirut are blended in with archival footage, TV clips and film excerpts as backdrop for May and Adachi’s voices and memories. They speak of everyday life, of being a little girl in hiding, of exile, politics and cinema, and their fascinating overlap.
Young Man was Part 1: United Red Army
67 minutes, 2011
by Naeem Mohaiemen
On September 28th 1977, JAL 472 lands in Dhaka. Later, the lead negotiator explains that they had to allow the landing, because the pilot said he was running out of fuel. The film pivots off the audio transcripts of negotiations over the next five days. Shumon Bashar wrote in Tank: “the crackly voices of these two strangers hurled into a forced, awkward intimacy… the tone with which they started their discussion was peculiarly polite, until the accord between ransom and reason reached breaking point.” The film is part of a long-form research project since 2006, which looks at the 1970s ultra-left.
Eric Baudelaire, born in Salt Lake City in 1973, lives and works in Paris. Working in film as well as printmaking, photography and installation, Baudelaire is interested in the relationship between images and events, documents and narratives. His work was shown in La Triennale in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, the Taiwan Biennial, and the Baltic Triennial. He has had solo exhibitions at Gasworks, London, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Elizabeth Dee gallery, New York, Galeria Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid, Galerie Greta Meert in Brussels, and La Synagogue de Delme in France. His work is present in several public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Fond National d'Art Contemporain, and his films have been selected in many festivals, including FID Marseille, and International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the San Francisco Film Festival, as well as the DocAlliance competition.
Naeem Mohaiemen works in Dhaka and New York, using essays, photography, and film to explore histories of the global left and utopia projects. His work has shown at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Experimenter Kolkata, New Museum (New York), Frieze (London), Sharjah Biennial, MUAC (Mexico City), and Whitney Biennial of American Art (as member of Visible Collective). He is editor of Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat Writers Collective) and co-editor of System Error: War is a force that gives us meaning (w/ Lorenzo Fusi, Silvana). His essays include “Islamic Roots of Hip-Hop” (Sound Unbound, MIT Press), “Flying Blind: waiting for a real reckoning on 1971” (EPW, India), “Beirut, Silver Porsche Illusion” (Men of the Global South, Zed Books), “Asterix and the Big Fight” (Apex Art Journal) and “Mujtaba Ali: Amphibian Man” (Rest of Now, Manifesta Biennial).