IMAGES FESTIVAL 2019: SERPENT RAIN BY DENISE FERREIRA DA SILVA AND ARJUNA NEUMAN

This entry was posted on April 29th, 2019

Serpent rain (2016) is a product of the collaboration of director Arjuna Neuman and philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva. The initial idea of the film, according to the filmmakers, comes up from the finding of a Norwegian slave ship called Fredensborg. This historical event questions the traditional Nordic narrative of its role against slavery. From this, Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva rethink the link between memory and time, addressing this topic not only from the history of humanity, but also from the history of what is daily thought as ahistorical: the land, the sea, the forests; in a few words, the ecosystem that goes beyond the human being.

The film is presented as an audiovisual device that somehow tries to evoke a reflection on the fragmentation of perception of time in everyday life. From the above, through a fragmented montage of images of different scenarios (such as an oil refinery, a frozen waterfall, a forest, a JMW Turner painting, an underwater seaweed jungle) they try to reconstruct and represent the perception of time from the absence of linearity. For this reason, Serpent rain becomes a very demanding audiovisual essay, in which stretched cuts between one frame and another are prolonged to provoke,  contemplation and reflection on the connection of what one, as a spectator, observes and hears.

In spite of the absence of linearity and causality between images with the film, it is possible to rethink the life of human beings from different historical periods, understanding their link with the ecosystem that housed them and still houses them, even after their death. What is represented through images and sounds, apparently disassociated, makes sense if the premise is understood: in the present, in various natural resources and their ecosystems there are microbiological remains of living beings from the past. However, to understand this is not easy, since the visual proposal is fragmentary and, at times, very encrypted.

Directors: Denise Ferreira da Silva and Arjuna Neuman
Norway, 2016