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Keimena #28: Don Giovanni

Carmelo Bene’s 1971 film Don Giovanni is not an adaptation of a famous Don Juan story. Instead, the film critically investigates the multifaceted legend of the wealthy male sinner who seduces one woman after another. This is a film about Don Juanism…

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About

Keimena: a documenta 14 Film Program on ERT2, airing Mondays at midnight from December 19, 2016 to September 18, 2017

Keimena is a weekly broadcast of films presented by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), and organized by documenta 14. By relying for its presentation on ERT, Greece's public television broadcaster, the project aims to extend documenta 14’s scope into viewers’ homes, imagining and constituting new and different communities, contexts, and contingencies.

Keimena’s program focuses on the fields of experimental documentary and fiction, presenting films whose approaches and topics engage social, political, and poetic concerns and whose concepts, themes, and positions are in dialogue with the overall curatorial visions of documenta 14.

Television, both public and private, is a key factor in Greece’s recent history and development. Its importance in mediating and reflecting upon the country’s current socio-economic predicament cannot be overstated. Despite suffering severe budget cuts which affected its operability, ERT remains the official “public” medium, especially in Greece’s collective consciousness; ERT’s controversial closure in 2013 as part of austerity measures generated immediate and extensive protests nationwide.

While TV viewing can appear to be a solitary activity, it is also—especially when compared to online surfing and streaming habits—a synchronized and therefore collective experience that happens in real time. Like visiting an exhibition, it too requires prior programmatic commitment from the viewer and facilitates the subsequent sharing of the experience. Such structural qualities and the fundamental principles of public service broadcasting—including a sense of community, distance from vested interests, and attention to social minorities—are as essential to Keimena as the individual themes of the many films included in the series.

The films are chosen both for their pertinent subject matter, as well as for the singular filmic forms they present. Each provides a reflection on some of the most invisible, fleeting, and quotidian aspects of human social relations as well as those of global structures of power. Each film develops its own unique language to reflect the intangible reality it presents. The program includes films dating back to the 1970s, recent productions, and new films commissioned by documenta 14. All of them tackle contemporary issues pertinent to life in Greece and elsewhere in times of economic hardship and social unrest.

Given the exceptional quality and rarity of the films presented, the Keimena curators hope that the program quickly establishes itself as a weekly highlight for Greek cinephiles and the broader public. Keimena aims to be one of the most exciting presentations of film culture on television worldwide, offering direct access to a range of feature-length and short experimental documentary and fiction films by prominent independent filmmakers and artists that have restricted availability elsewhere.

Keimena functions within the guidelines of ERT and of public service broadcasting, and its content engages the television viewer over a period of nine months of regular weekly programming. In the same way that a film is introduced before being screened at a film festival, or artworks in a museum exhibition are accompanied by an informative label, Keimena broadcasts are preceded by short introductions that offer a broad reading and contextualization that complements and enriches the viewing session. Written by international authors—film and art critics, philosophers, journalists, filmmakers, and other experts who have a unique knowledge and insight into a particular film—these introductions are as much an integral part of the programming effort as the films themselves.

Keimena runs on ERT2 every Monday at midnight; the duration of the broadcasts varies according to the running time of the films. Additionally, the films will be available for streaming within Greece via webtv.ert.gr for seven days after each broadcast. All films are presented in their original language with Greek subtitles.
 

Credits

Keimena is a documenta 14 Film Program, curated by Hila Peleg and Vassily Bourikas.

Project Coordination: Konstantinos Frangopoulos (Venia Vergou: May 2016–February 2017)
Editorial Coordination: Antonia Rahofer

Editor: Filipa Ramos
Assistant Editor: Ben Eastham
Copy Editors (Greek): Lenia Mazaraki, Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga
Translation and subtitles: Tony Moser, Giorgos Giannakopoulos, Yannis Andreou, Yannis Papadakis, Pelagia Tsinari

Postproduction: StudioBauhaus, Athens

Opening sequence concept and design: Mevis & Van Deursen, Amsterdam
Opening sequence realization: Blommers / Schumm, Amsterdam
Music in the opening sequence: Mort Aux Vaches: Untitled 4 by Pan Sonic and Charlemagne Palestine, 2015

Previous Broadcasts

Keimena #27: He Who Eats Children, Atlantis, and TRYPPS #7 (Badlands)

by Ben Russell

Ben Russell—the director of Trypps #7 (Badlands), Atlantis, and He Who Eats Children—is an itinerant filmmaker. From Vanuatu to Rhode Island, he reaffirms and interrogates the affinities between cinema and travel that have existed since the medium’s earliest years. No matter where he shoots, at stake is a reckoning with otherness—with other psychic states, other ways of living, other cultures—and with the cinema itself…

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Keimena #26: Leviathan

by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s Leviathan revolutionizes cinema’s documentary tradition. The film turns the cinematic gaze into an immersive experience that offers a hallucinatory, unsettling, and crude depiction of modern industrial fishery…

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Keimena #25: Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams

Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams (2016) was conceived and produced by the Karrabing Film Collective, an extended family whose Indigenous lands stretch across the western coast of Australia’s Northern Territory…

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Keimena #24: Ának Araw

by Gym Lumbera

Gym Lumbera’s Ának Araw begins with words on the screen: a procession of basic English nouns accompanied by pictographic representations. These are followed by their live-action representations, subtitled in Tagalog. Words, but no dialogue…

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Keimena #23: Mababangong bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)

by Kidlat Tahimik

Perfumed Nightmare is directed by the self-taught filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, who also plays the lead role. It tells the story of a humble, small-town lad who drives a “jeepney,” one of the trucks left behind by the US military that are still the main form of public transportation in the Philippines…

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Keimena #22: Ernste Spiele I–IV (Serious Games I–IV)

by Harun Farocki

Images of war pervade our screens, streaming in real time, impossible to ignore. Harun Farocki’s Serious Games reminds us that this spectacle is only one aspect of the mediatization of combat: the image does not simply picture war, but is also an instrument of warfare…

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Keimena #21: Bamako

by Abderrahmane Sissako

Directed by the Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako and set in the capital of Mali, Bamako examines the links between global economic policies and everyday life. It follows a singer and her unemployed husband. In the yard of the house they share with other families, a court is in session. On trial are the global institutions accused of impoverishing Africa…

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Keimena #20: Inventur – Metzstraße 11 and Logbook_Serbistan

by Želimir Žilnik

In the forty years between Inventur - Metzstrasse 11 and Logbook_Serbistan, Želimir Žilnik never ceased to give voice to the disenfranchised. Made in 1975, Inventur belongs to Žilnik's German period, when he fled Yugoslavia following the collapse of the “black wave” generation of Yugoslavian cinema of which the Serbian’ director was a key member…

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Keimena #19: 48

by Susana de Sousa Dias

A face appears in Susana de Sousa Dias’ 48 — the profile of a young woman, a black-and-white photograph, taken decades ago. Her face is stern, proud, austere. Yet she weeps. She tells a tale of humiliation, frustration, and defeat. She has no name, no age, no flesh…

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Keimena #18: Nespatřené (The Unseen)

by Miroslav Janek

“Sometimes I think I should give up, but life is for living,” says a blind boy in Miroslav Janek’s The Unseen. This award-winning documentary takes place in a school for blind children in Prague. For too long the disabled were hidden from the public eye, they were unseen. Janek’s film rectifies this by allowing the children to tell their own stories…

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Keimena #17: Chamissos Schatten, Kapitel 1: Alaska und aleutische Inseln (Chamisso’s Shadow, Chapter 1: Alaska and Aleutian Islands)

by Ulrike Ottinger

Ulrike Ottinger’s Chamissos Shadow Chapter 1: Alaska and Aleutian Islands takes as its point of departure the accounts of Adelbert von Chamisso. The nineteenth-century botanist and poet was a voyager on the Romanzow research expedition, which aimed to find a passage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans…

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Keimena #16: Angriff auf die Demokratie – Eine Intervention (Democracy Under AttackAn Intervention)

by Romuald Karmakar

In December 2011, ten German intellectuals met in Berlin to discuss the current political crisis: how democracy had been undermined, weakened, hollowed out, and perverted by the so-called free market and its functions…

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Keimena #15: Baghé Sangui (The Garden of Stones)

by Parviz Kimiavi

The Garden of Stones, by Parviz Kimiavi, won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1976. Born in Tehran in 1939 and now living in Paris, Kimiavi is a cult figure in the Iranian New Wave. He studied film and photography at l'École Louis Lumière in Paris and worked in French television before returning to Iran in 1969, where he became a pioneering figure in Iran’s alternative cinema scene…

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Keimena #14: Elias Petropoulos: Enas kosmos ypogeios (Elias Petropoulos: An Underground World)

by Kalliopi Legaki

Elias Petropoulos, who died in 2003, was the first Greek folklore researcher, author, and historian to document underground cultures and figures shunned by official history. A restless, inquisitive spirit, he was the enemy of academicism and the establishment…

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Keimena #13: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

by Alanis Obomsawin

Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin’s film Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance focuses on a small Kanien'kéha:ka (Mohawk) community, unheard of by many Canadians until a protest began on March 10, 1990…

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Keimena #12: Krisis

by Dimitri Venkov

Dimitri Venkov’s Krisis is based on a Facebook discussion on December 8, 2013, the day that “Leninopad,” the widespread demolition of monuments to Vladimir Lenin, kicked off in Ukraine. The first monument to be dismantled in Kyiv was made by Soviet sculptor Sergei Merkurov and was erected in 1946, while Stalin was still in power. The Ukrainian ultra-nationalist party Svoboda (Freedom) claimed responsibility…

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Keimena #11: Loubia Hamra (Bloody Beans)

by Narimane Mari

Bloody Beans, Narimane Mari’s first feature-length film, is a dreamlike take on the violent spiral of Algeria’s recent history. Its force and beauty is that it does not employ a straightforward historical narrative, but instead re-enacts the past through play…

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Keimena #10: Rabo de Peixe (Fish Tail)

by Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel

Joaquim Pinto and Nuno Leonel’s film Rabo de Peixe portrays an island within an island.” Rabo de Peixe is a fishing village, located on the island of São Miguel, which hosts the largest community of traditional fisheries in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The re-edit of their 2003 film combines ethnographic observation and sociological investigation with a diaristic style and a nostalgic tone to portray the male members of two generations of fishermen from Rabo de Peixe and their daily lives, ambitions, and struggles…

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Keimena #9: The Forgotten Space

by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch

American artist Allan Sekula made The Forgotten Space after he was invited to create a work of art in a public space. He thought it important to understand television as such a public space and set out to make a film for national television with his co-director, the Paris-based American film theorist Noël Burch…

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Keimena #8: Ku Qian (Bitter Money)

by Wang Bing

“Time is money (bastard)” sang the Swans in 1986. The same refrain—deprived of its punk rage—drives the subjects of Wang Bing’s Bitter Money. The film follows country people moving to the city to be employed as textile workers on daily or seasonal contracts…

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Keimena #7: Manazil bela abwab (Houses Without Doors)

by Avo Kaprealian

Houses without Doors is a subjective, intimate chronicle of the survival of a Syrian-Armenian family in Aleppo as the civilian uprising devolved into an armed conflict between 2011 and 2014. Like many in Syria, director Avo Kaprealian felt compelled to document the extraordinary events of the uprising…

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Keimena #6: Voilà l'enchaînement

by Claire Denis

How two people come apart can be as compelling to watch as what brings them together. In Clarie Denis’ film Voilà l’enchaînement, the fissures in a relationship between a black man (Alex Descas) and a white woman (Norah Krief) are apparent from the first scene. Longing for more closeness, and caressing his shoulder, she asks him to tattoo her name on his body. He gently refuses: “for you it means eternity, for me it means branded.” Does the friction of this early exchange—still light enough to be softened with an embrace, but opening a crack of enmity—set in motion what comes next…

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Keimena #5: Verzió

by Miklós Erdély

Miklós Erdély’s Version gravitates around Tiszaeszlár, a small East Hungarian village where in 1882 a young maid went missing and was later found dead in the river. The local Jewish community was accused of ritually murdering her. The blood libel trial that followed ignited anti-Semitic propaganda, agitation, and later pogroms in Austria-Hungary that gained worldwide attention…

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Keimena #4: La Mort de Louis XIV

by Albert Serra

Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV is an exquisite meditation on death, dignity and voyeurism that unfurls like a baroque tapestry. Visionary Catalan filmmaker and artist Albert Serra is contemporary cinema’s master historicist…

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Keimena #3: Oncle Bernard—L’anti-leçon d’économie

by Richard Brouillette

Depicted in Richard Brouillette’s Oncle Bernard – A Counter-Lesson in Economics, Bernard Maris, who wrote under the pseudonym of Uncle Bernard in his “Charlie Hebdo” column, had the mission of unmasking the professional fabricators of the economy—those who, every day, wherever we are, fill us with the same rubbish, draped in a phony pseudo-science whose goal is to disguise the mechanisms of that power which enslaves us…

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Keimena #2: Sleepless Nights Stories

by Jonas Mekas

Sleepless Nights Stories originated from my reading of the One Thousand and One Nights. While my stories, unlike the Arabian tales, are all from the real life, they too, at some points wander into somewhere else, beyond the everyday routine reality…

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Keimena #1: From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

by CAMP

CAMP’s From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf describes a journey on the high seas. A group of sailors from the Kutch district in western India—along with fellow seafarers from southern Iran and the Pakistani provinces of Sindh and Balochistan—transport goods and livestock in wooden vessels across the Persian and Aden gulfs…

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