Fifty years after his assassination, Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, is back to haunt Belgium. Through commemorations, encounters and a return visit, a top-ranking Belgian civil servant who was in Elisabethville on that tragic day of 17 January 1961 attempts to exorcise the ghosts of the past. To the sound of St John Passion by J.S. Bach, Spectres plunges us into one of the blackest days of the Belgian Congo’s decolonisation. This feature-length film by artist Sven Augustijnen exposes the fine line separating legitimation and historiography and the traumatic question of responsibility and debt.
We are delighted to welcome the filmmaker in person to introduce and discuss the film. The screening is part of the Festival’s Postcolonial Cinema Weekend, which explores the complex histories and material traces of past colonial inequalities through contemporary filmmaking.
Sven Augustijnen studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. His work concentrates on the boundaries between fiction and reality, using a hybrid of genres to disorienting effect. His films have been included in exhibitions and festivals in Athens, Basel, San Sebastián, Rotterdam, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Vilnius, among others.
Curated by AV Festival. Courtesy Auguste Orts. Regional Premiere.
Sat 8 March 2014, 2pm
Newcastle NE1 2NP
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Runtime: 102min + Q&A
Language: French with English subtitles
Distributor: Auguste Orts
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