In seeking the communal, in looking for that place “where linear times collapses” (The Ruins), this program explores ancestral histories across different continents and times. Weaving together camp and shamanism, activism and rituals, these short films celebrate all the “aunties”, a word used by mostly non-European migrants to describe non-biological family relatives. Five visual poems with scintillating color paint a dreamlike canvas.
Length: 92 min
Al-Atlal (The Ruins)
In a French travel book to the Middle East, a drawing of an ancient bathhouse sparks a visual poem inspired by the Arab literary tradition of “standing by the ruins.” The ambivalence of the five-hundred-year-old image gestures towards enduring imperial power dynamics. Pleasure and pain, seduction and domination, homoeroticism and violence, archives and ruins, histories of sex and of empire, all commingle in this essay film.
Garden Amidst the Flame
Garden Amidst the Flame is a coming of age story where we guided into the fantasy of a young Minahasan girls in non-linear time structure. The journey began from young protagonist Virsay fills up the the night with shaving her eyebrows with her younger sister in an unemotional display of hypermasculinity of Minahasan culture. Without knowing her younger sister is one of member of the child gang that practises ancient knowledges, she encounters a realm of nowhere with the sudden appearance of a living fossil, the Coelacanth monster, on her bed, Rooster beast dancing in her room when it is beheaded by the child gang, and other fantastical and absurd situation.
The plot of Garden Amidst the Flame is written after Natasha participated in a Karai ritual. The sublime immaterial experience of digging, taking part, and observing her ancestral culture inspire to conceived this work. Symbols and myth are adapted and collided with fiction and critics in order to construct a non-linear narrative for the story. The experiment and research mutate into a fantasy film. The work explores the psychology of the many fictional characters appear in the film; the main young protagonist Virsay, her younger sister Mikha, Grandpa Yop, Coelacanth monster, Rooster beast, and most importantly Wulan Lengkoan the child gang. All of these character interact with each other to thinking a new method of speculative care, as an idea to oppose the hypermasculine presentation of Minahasan ritual culture and everyday life.
Mela Jaloos (Festival Procession)
Mela Jaloos (Translation: Festival Procession, in Urdu) is a 13-minute art film that embarks upon a speculative queer Muslim journey of celebration, resistance, and protest. Taking a performance-based approach, the film uses poetic and hybrid means to present a kaleidoscope of influences that are rooted in Sufi histories, queerness, and life in Lahore, Pakistan.
Volana (Moon in Malagasy) is a Black Transmasculine dreamer who hides their emotional and physical pain in the shadows of a club. One night, when everything seems fragile and close to collapsing, Volana gets stuck in another space where they meet Tia who will show them the multidimensional aspect of their being.
In Aribada, the scintillating color and dreamlike imagery of Colombia’s coffee region become a vivid landscape—a space between documentary and mythology, where Las Traviesas, a group of trans women from the Emberá people share knowledge and reinvent rituals. Here, Aribada, a half-jaguar, half-human monster awakens to the formation of their utopic alliance informed by the power of their jais (spirits).