Screening the Past in a Post Cold War World

Screening the Past in a Post Cold War World

 Friday 26 and Saturday 27 September 2014

Old Geology Building, University of Sydney

Recent films from Chile/Cuba, Catalonia/Spain, France/Algeria and Indonesia explore the troubled legacies of the Cold War. The themes that the films evoke carry a powerful resonance today: the violence and disintegration as a consequence of revisiting the past; the moral ambiguities of counter–insurgency warfare; the tragic fate of children struggling to come to terms with their parents’ political commitment; the complex challenges posed by reconciliation and forgetting after civil war.

 This mini film festival is part of the ARC transnational research project “Judging the Past in a Post-Cold War World”. Area specialists from Sydney University, UTS and ANU will introduce each screening.

 Entrance is free and you are warmly invited to attend

Friday 26

 2-5pm               The Act of Killing  (Indonesia)

5.30- 8.30       Mon Colonel (France)

Saturday 27

10-1pm          Pa Negre (Black Bread] (Spain)

2-5                  El Edificio de los Chilenos [The Chileans’ Building] (Chile)


Screening Programme

Friday 2-5pm: The Act of Killing (introduced by Adrian Vickers)

2012. Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer. 122min

English and Indonesian with English subtitles

Highly controversial for the ethics of its production and its intervention in contemporary debates about Indonesian history, The Act of Killing focuses on the history of the mass murder of communists in 1965 as the event is remembered by perpetrators and victims.

Friday 5.30-8.30pm: Mon Colonel (introduced by Elizabeth Rechniewski)

2006.  Dir: Laurent Herbiet. 110 min

French with English subtitles

Long before Iraq, Afghanistan and the ‘war on terror’, the techniques of counter-revolutionary warfare were honed in the dying throes of the colonial empires. Set during the Algerian War, Mon Colonel explores what can (and must?) be justified in the cause of counter-insurgency and the price it exacts on those who conduct it.

Saturday 10-1pm: Pa Negre [Black Bread] (introduced by Judith Keene)

2010. Dir: Agustí Villaronga 108min Spanish with English subtitles

Set in rural Catalonia, after the Spanish civil war, Villaronga’s powerful film uses the central figure of a child to expose the fear and hypocrisy at the heart of Franco’s Spain. Without sentimentality, Pa Negre, lays out the insurmountable challenges confronting those who attempt to transcend the violent compromises of that era.

Saturday 2-5pm:  El Edificio de los Chilenos [The Chileans’ Building](introduced by Peter Read and Marivic Wyndham)

2010. Dir: Macarena Aguiló and Susana Foxley. 96 min

Spanish with English subtitles

In the late seventies, exiled militants of MIR, the Left Revolutionary Movement, returned to Chile to support the fight against the military dictatorship, leaving 60 of their children in the care of ‘social parents’ in Havana, Cuba. The film confronts the unbridgeable gap that exists in Chile today between the revolutionary dreams of the MIR generation and the children of the post-dictatorship generation.

Warning: these films depict graphic scenes of violence and torture. Admittance is restricted to those 18 years and over.

This workshop is sponsored by an Australian Research Council grant with the support of the University of Sydney and  the University of Technology Sydney .


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