TV Politics

A documenta 14 film program with Alberto Grifi, Isuma Productions, Sarah Maldoror, Alanis Obomsawin, Nagisa Oshima, Mohamed Soueid
June 22–September 15, Grosses BALi
8:30 pm, unless noted otherwise

With the rise of networked technologies, television as we once knew it has become a historical artifact. Television stations are gradually being integrated into digital online platforms and survive as, or under the umbrella of, large media corporations, which seek new models for the economic exploitation of user attention. In today’s neoliberal environment, the concept of democracy is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from the market: the radical democratization of the media through the internet has thus become thoroughly entangled with the economic valorization of user behavior.

In retrospect, the centralized, state-dominated television of the 1960s to the 1980s appears as a singular historical constellation, precisely because of the unidirectional and nondiversified character of it as the mass medium. Hence the struggle for representation was carried out by addressing a mass public in a framework that was distinct from the market.

Television since its invention has been the focus of heated debate and protest, including allegations of manipulation, mass control, and authoritarianism. Issues of ideology, representation, and the relationship between the culture industry and the state have dominated these debates. But in the 1990s, the parameters of such discussion shifted radically. In times of ubiquitously distributed media, media-policy concerns moved from previously dominant themes as the “passive spectator” and the “spectacle” to the phenomena of personalized, feedback-based “filter bubbles,” which have made political media critique all the more complex.

TV Politics is a film program that revisits some of the most significant attempts to articulate a radical approach to the politics of television since the mid-twentieth century. It revisits film works conceived for the purpose of rethinking what television could be, while seeking at the same time to provide a different kind of analysis of social and cultural reality. Grounded in specific political struggles, these instances of reflexive and critical TV policy still raise questions that transcend the specifics of time and media paradigms and provide a necessary and fertile ground for critique of contemporary image production.

Organized by Hila Peleg, TV Politics consists of six screening programs, each dedicated to the work of an internationally renowned filmmaker who made pioneering efforts in the medium of television, with introductions by film curators and scholars.


June 22, June 29*
Being Camelia (selection, 1994), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 5 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
The Sky Is Not Always Above (2006), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon/UAE, 93 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Rasha Salti

June 23, June 30*
Being Camelia (selection, 1994), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 5 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
How Bitter My Sweet (2009), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon/UAE, 2009, 90 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Rasha Salti

July 6*, July 27
Léon G. Damas (1994), Sarah Maldoror, France, 26 min. French [English subtitles]
Aimé Césaire—un homme une terre (1976), Sarah Maldoror, Martinique/ France, 52 min. French [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Annouchka de Andrade and Brigitte Rollet

July 7*, July 28
Monangambee (1968), Sarah Maldoror, France, 11 min. French [English subtitles]
Et les chiens se taisaient (1978), Sarah Maldoror, France, 13 min. French [English subtitles]
Aimé Césaire—le masque des mots (1986), Sarah Maldoror, France, 52 min. French [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Annouchka de Andrade and Brigitte Rollet

July 13*, August 3
Incident at Restigouche (1984), Alanis Obomsawin, Canada, 46 min. English
The People of the Kattawapiskak River (2012), Alanis Obomsawin, Canada, 78 min. English
* With presentation by Alanis Obomsawin and Candice Hopkins

July 14*, August 4
Nipi (voice) (1999), Isuma Productions, Canada, 51 min. Inuktitut [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Norman Cohn, Zacharias Kunuk, and Candice Hopkins

July 20*, August 17: 2 pm, 5 pm, 8:30 pm
The Dawn of Asia, parts 1–6 (1964), Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 318 min. Japanese [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Go Hirasawa and Sabu Kohso

July 21*, August 18: 2 pm, 5 pm, 8:30 pm
The Dawn of Asia, parts 7–13 (1964), Nagisa Oshima, Japan, 371 min. Japanese [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Go Hirasawa and Sabu Kohso

August 10*, August 31
Being Camelia (selection, 1994), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 5 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
Cinema Fouad (1993), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 41 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
Tango of Yearning (1998), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 70 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Mohamed Soueid and Rasha Salti

August 11*, September 1
Being Camelia (selection, 1994), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 5 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
Nightfall (2000), Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon, 80 min. Arabic [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Mohamed Soueid and Rasha Salti

August 24*, September 14
Verifica Incerta (1964–65), Gianfranco Baruchello and Alberto Grifi, Italy, 30 min. Italian [English subtitles]
Festival del Proletariato giovanile al Parco Lambro (1976), Alberto Grifi, Italy, 30 min. Italian [English subtitles]
Dinni e la Normalina (la videopolizia psichiatrica contro i sedicenti nuclei di follia militante) (1977), Alberto Grifi, Italy, 27 min. Italian [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Marco Scotini

August 25*, September 15
Michele alla ricerca della felicità (1978), Alberto Grifi, Italy, 23 min. Italian [English subtitles]
Argonauti, Evviva! (1968), Alberto Grifi, Italy, 18 min. Italian [English subtitles]
Lia (1977), Alberto Grifi, Italy, 26 min. Italian [English subtitles]
Anna (excerpt, 1975), Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli, Italy, 30 min. Italian [English subtitles]
* With presentation by Marco Scotini

Posted in Notes on 06.07.2017
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