Is There a Pine on the Mountain & The Super 8 Years
IDFA 2022: Is There a Pine on the Mountain & The Super 8 Years
During this screening, the short film Is There a Pine on the Mountain will be followed by The Super 8 Years.
Is There a Pine on the Mountain (Chongyan Liu, FR 2022, 37')
When the mother of filmmaker Chongyan Liu’s boyfriend comes from China to stay with the couple in their small Parisian apartment, it gradually becomes clear where his violence comes from. Initially, Liu films the quarrels in the cramped kitchen, with what appears to be a hidden camera; the faces are blurred. Reproaches about petty annoyances fly back and forth, until the arguments become bitterly serious.
After that, the conversations in the house are accompanied by still lifes of the rooms, images of household items that have been broken, and scenes with intimate close-ups of the (now ex-)boyfriend’s body. Off-screen, mother and son take turns talking about their difficult and toxic relationship, revealing that domestic violence is passed on from one generation to the next.
The Super 8 Years (Annie Ernaux & David Ernaux-Briot, FR 2022, 60')
In 1972, writer Annie Ernaux (winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature) and her husband Philippe Ernaux bought a Super 8 camera. Over the subsequent decade, Philippe used it to capture family life with their two sons, from distant journeys to intimate moments—blowing out candles on a birthday cake, cycling without training wheels. The shots combine to form a moving photo album, over which time has laid a grainy filter of nostalgia.
In The Super 8 Years, which she made with her son David Ernaux-Briot, Annie Ernaux reflects on the home movies in thoughtful commentary, and in particular on the stories that are told in the margins of the footage, or beyond: Pinochet’s coup in Chile, where the family was traveling at the time. The books she was writing. The asphalt road that would later cut through a landscape.
As the children grow older and the marriage begins to come unstuck, the camera focuses more on the horizon and less on the people close by, eventually leaving the family behind altogether. What remains is the film, bearing weathered witness to what once was.
Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 20 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 35th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.
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