I Am Trying to Remember & Lake Forest Park
In this screening, Lake Forest Park will be preceded by the short film I Am Trying to Remember.
I Am Trying to Remember (Pegah Ahangarani, IR/CZ 2021) (16 min.)
To the accompaniment of a powerful sound score, filmmaker Pegah Ahangarani uses photographs, videos, and vivid recollections from her own childhood to evoke a collective memory of the Iranian revolution.
Pegah talks about Gholam, a man who’s not like her father, mother, uncles, or aunts, even though he’s always present at family gatherings. Gholam films these everyday scenes with his own camera. At the time, Pegah can’t imagine what the purpose of these films might be, but she’s happy to pose before the lens of this family friend, who she’s certainly very fond of.
It is as if Pegah, the film’s director and chief protagonist, is reading from a children’s book; as if we are looking over her shoulder at Gholam’s films of the family and the old photos. The large family radiates great warmth as we see them shoveling snow or just sitting around at home.
But then comes the chapter about Gholam and the Iranian revolution, heralding a plot twist in the story that comes to symbolize thousands of Pegahs and Gholams inside and outside Iran.
Lake Forest Park (Kersti Jan Werdal, US 2021) (60 min.)
An atmospheric portrait of a group of high school students in the American northwest who have been through a shocking experience. The camera observes from a distance and captures their inexpressible sadness in beautifully composed tableaux.
A group of teenagers have to come to terms with the violent death of a classmate. The incident itself remains unspoken (only a radio broadcast at the beginning of the film refers, almost inaudibly, to the tragedy), but a sense of loss pervades this calmly observational film.
The camera pays as much attention to the urban yet green surroundings of Lake Forest Park, a town near Seattle, as it does to the young people who live there. They go to school, hang out at the mall, or lie on the couch at home. Meanwhile, the rain pours, drowning out their conversations.
With beautiful camera work reminiscent of films by Kelly Reichardt, filmmaker and photographer Kersti Jan Werdal lets the images speak for themselves. The editing, which draws attention at unexpected moments, emphasizes the sensation that something can change quickly from one moment to the next, shockingly and unannounced. Only the rain never stops.
Documentary lovers, keep November 17 to 28 free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 34th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programs in Eye.