With Sergei Loznitsa
Running time: 157' - English language
Available for one month starting Sept. 23
Bringing to bear his vast experience in both fiction and documentary filmmaking, his profound knowledge in the field of archival film, and his strong interest in historical events and their impact on contemporary society, Sergei Loznitsa - among the most representative contemporary filmmakers - gave during the 60th edition of the Festival dei Popoli (2019) a valuable masterclass entitled "Fiction/Documentary, Archive/Contemporary, Past/Present - Cinema on the Frontier of Genres and Ages."
During this lecture, which was as dense as it was enlightening, the Ukrainian filmmaker offered excerpts from his most recent films to address the following topics: "Found footage - propaganda or historical document?" with sequences from The Trial (2018) and State Funeral (2019); "Elements inferred from documentary videos posted on Youtube as inspiration for a subject film," with examples from the film Donbass (2018).
The method of investigation applied by Loznitsa on archival materials (whether historical or contemporary) is exemplary not only for the purposes of correctly placing audiovisual material in the broader historiographical context, but it is indispensable for the contemporary viewer to be able to identify - and consequently neutralize - the propagandistic intentions hidden beneath the only seemingly "objective" surface of images made in the Soviet period not with the intention of "informing," but rather of "conforming" public opinion to an ideological and totalitarian vision. Such manipulative techniques, once the mechanisms are revealed, can be traced not only in the materials commissioned by the regime, but also in the uninterrupted stream of "images from the world" offered by contemporary media. Sergei Loznitsa's goal is to safeguard us from a naive approach to the organized organs of information and to enable us to develop a critical gaze that allows us to deal with the media bombardment without being subjugated by it.
"Cinema Lessons" is a series of appointments curated by the Festival dei Popoli Archive, which you will find on the Più Compagnia platform, the virtual hall of the Cinema La Compagnia in Florence (managed by the Cinema Area of Fondazione Sistema Toscana) and on the Vimeo channel of the Festival dei Popoli.