THE FORGOTTEN SPACE
a film essay by Allan Sekula & Noel Burch
Winner of the "Special Orizzonti Jury Prize" at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.
"An epic view and urgent
analysis of the follies of global capitalism, 'The Forgotten Space' is
a prime example of essayistic and political cinema. It creates a
complex tapestry of powerful images and language"
The sea is forgotten until disaster strikes. But perhaps the biggest
seagoing disas- ter is the global supply chain, which - perhaps in a
more fundamental way than financial speculation - leads the world
economy to the abyss.
The film follows container cargo aboard ships, barges, trains and
trucks, listening to workers, engineers, plan- ners, politicians, and
those marginalized by the global transport system. We visit displaced
farmers and villag- ers in Holland and Belgium, underpaid truck drivers
in Los Angeles, seafarers aboard mega-ships shuttling between Asia and
Europe, and factory workers in China, whose low wages are the fragile
key to the whole puzzle. And in Bil- bao, we discover the most
sophisticated expression of the belief that the maritime economy, and
the sea itself, is somehow obsolete.
A range of materials is used: descriptive documentary, in- terviews,
archive stills and footage, clips from old movies. The result is an
essayistic, visual documentary about one of the most important
processes that affects us today.
The Forgotten Space is based on Sekula’s massive long-term project Fish
Story, seeking to understand and describe the contemporary maritime
world in relation to the complex symbolic legacy of the sea.
Since the early 1970s Allan Sekula’s works with photographic sequences,
written texts, slide shows and sound recordings have traveled a path
close to cinema, some- times referring to specific films, sometimes
operating like a “disassembled movie”. In 2001 Sekula made the first
work he was willing to call a film.
Sekula’s books include Photography against the Grain (1984), Fish Story
(1995), Dis- mal Science (1999), Performance under Working Conditions
(2003), TITANIC’s wake (2003), and Polonia and Other Fables (2009).
These works range from the theory and history of photography to family
life in the grip of the military industrial complex to explorations of
the world maritime economy. His work is on display all over the world.
Among other places, Sekula has taught in the Department of Photography
and Cinema at the Ohio State University, and since 1985, in the Program
in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts.
Born in the USA (San Francisco, 22nd of January 1932), Noël Burch has
been liv- ing in France since 1951. He graduated from the Institut des
Hautes Etudes Ciné- matographiques in 1954. While primarily known for
his theoretical writings, such as Theory of Film Practice (1973), and
To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in Japanese Cinema (1979), he
has always positioned himself as a film-maker and has directed over
twenty titles, mostly documentaries.
Burch was co-founder and director of the Institut de Formation
Cinématographique. From 1972 to 2000 he has taught film history and
theory at various places and univer- sities throughout the world.
an Doc.Eye Film and WILDart FILM production.
For further information please contact:
Pfeilgasse 32/1, A-1080 Vienna, Austria
ph. +43 1 595 2991
fax +43 1 595 2991 21
mob. +43 664 212 49 95
office [AT] wildartfilm.com
Noel Burch, Allan Sekula
THE FORGOTTEN SPACE
script and direction Allan Sekula
camera Attila Boa
sound Eckehard Braun
sounddesign Mark Glynne
music Ricardo Tesi
production WILDart FILM
SKOR, CoBO Fund, VPRO, ORF, Österreichisches Filminstitut, Eurimages, MEDIA Programme