HEART OF HAWICK
SUNDAY 30 APRIL
12:00 – 13:30 / 66′ + Q&A
Oreet Ashery and George Finlay Ramsay will be present for the Q&A.
The films in this programme have descriptive captions.
Content warning: contains flashing imagery; discussion of colonialism, war, death, kidnapping, surgery; strong language.
by Michael Pattison
In Certain And True It Is, two films home in on the complex ways in which fact and myth are bound together. Where, this double bill asks, does personal memory end and official history begin?
In Selfish Road, Oreet Ashery fashions a four-part road movie out of the large-scale infrastructural segregation projects, the architectures of apartheid and durational violence, in and around Jerusalem. Situating their own autobiography within a plural patchwork of voices, images and narrative modes, Ashery sculpts a critical relationship to settler colonialism as gestalt: a system whose image and totality are entrenched and understood through a complex web of industry, land use, technology.
Ashery renders all this in a purple or jaundiced haze, capturing landscapes from the constantly moving but delimited vantage point of an automobile – embodying a partial and subjective surveillance in contrast to the all-seeing, aggregating sweep of Zionist occupation. The artist’s methods are inquisitive, abortive, stop-start. No sooner has their film arrived at one point than it’s meandering onward in search of the next – as if to evoke an essayist’s restlessness, or a historical impasse whose immensity demands multiple prongs of attack.
While the repeated appearance of a particular surname in Family Fugue’s opening credits might at first suggest navel-gazing indulgence, George Finlay Ramsay’s film is comically self-deprecating. Teeming with the kind of rhythm, wit and texture that you’d expect from a film that takes the double meaning of its own title seriously enough for it to become a sincerely epic gag, this is a casually stunning examination of the ways identity is inherited and imagined, dressed up and gilded, challenged and reworked.
Like the exponential syncopation of its opening word association and the Baroque harpsichord of its soundtrack, Family Fugue is an unusually propulsive film, threatening to run away with itself before catching its own breath, again and again, in knowingly breathy voiceover. Tonally controlled and emotionally complex, Ramsay’s film riffs on the interplays between privilege and constraint, building a litany of perspectives as the filmmaker invites relatives to comment on the film we’re watching while making jokes about having no more funds to engage someone else to narrate it: ‘Me…’
30’39 – Germany – 2022
George Finlay Ramsay
35’10 – Scotland – 2022