The past is always out of reach, yet we’re always pulled towards it. Ismaïl Bahri’s poetic film plays with this paradox. We see two hands holding a photograph which is illuminated by strong light from two sides, blinding us to its contents. Only the shadows cast by the hands reveal what is hidden by the light: a crowd gathering on 20 March 1956, Tunisia’s independence day. A synaesthetic gesture, where seeing is enabled by touch.
About the director:
Visual artist and videographer Ismaïl Bahri (1978, Tunisia) lives and works between Paris and Tunis. Ismaïl Bahri positions himself as an observer; he gropes around, and talks of “shortsightedness” in relation to his work. He then sets up what he calls a “capture device” for these gestures, usually using video, but also photography and sound, without any specialization. It is quite often outside of the frame of the image that meaning emerges, in the perceptible presence of the surrounding world, which is suddenly revealed.