By Mónica Delgado
Under the impulse of the Commision for the First World War Centenary, thirteen filmmakers of different nationalities get together in Les ponts de Sarajevo, to gaze history from a review of the Sarajevo crisis and its geopolitical location of transit or limbo, from the past to the future, from memory to oblivion. But not all the tone of this series of shorts, in some cases very uneven, is marked by grief, historical essay or solemn view, but there’s also a space for humor and irony, as part of that «balcanic» spirit.
In Reveillon, the rumanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu shows a couple having a delicious dialogue about identity and belonging, in the diverse nationalities that inhabit Sarajevo and its close territories, inside a room while reading books in intimacy. With only one fixed shot, Puiu achieves a fragment of simpleness and wit, centered in stripping the imaginary over who is who in Europe. In other side, in Reflections, Sergei Loznitsa places overprints of photographs of ex combatants, some lost, maybe every one of them, in fixed shots, in the midst of the city panoramic and its movement. If in some place he tries to link some idea of heroic anonymity in a place that has to keep up its pace day by day (turism, work, commerce) it becomes clear that in it vast majority there were men and not women who lead this fight for freedom.
Jean-Luc Godard in Le pont des Soupirs proposes a clear premise, the simulacra of reality achieved by those who «communicate» war situations. In some moment of the sort, Godard affirms about the role of «falsegraphy» as the artifice that reproduces an exotic and alienated view of terror. «Inside the rules of culture, art is the exception» he points, and there he places, as part of popular imaginary, photographs and registries of human misery (as the famous Pullitzer winner photo of a boy in the verge of being eaten by a vulture in Ethiopia), or scenes of photographers forging alliances with those beings/objects which are subject of the photographs. In this critical dwelling of what has been designate as the «language of war» Godard launches an death rattle, achieving one of the most accomplished moments (inevitably) in this omminbus film with uneven shorts.
Directors: Teresa Villaverde (Portugal), Aida Begi? (B&H), Jean-Luc Godard (Switzerland), Leonardo Di Constanzo (Italy), Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria), Vicenzo Marra (Italy), Ursula Meier (Switzerland), Vladimir Perisic (Serbia), Isid Le Besco (France), Sergei Loznitsa (Russia), Cristi Puiu (Romania), Marc Recha (Spain), and Angela Schanelec (Germany).
Art Direction: Jean Michel Frodon