Still is a short video made, in a few weeks, for “OUTRAGE & REBELLION”, a collective french film to protest against police violence in France, after the filmmaker Joachim Gatti lost his eye when a policeman shot him with a flashball in July 2009
Still was made for OUTRAGE & REBELLION a collective french film to protest against police violence in France, intiated and produced by Nicole Brenez, after the filmmaker Joachim Gatti lost his eye, when a policeman shot him with a flashball in July 2009.
The idea of the project was for each filmmaker to make their contribution without a budget and within a few weeks. I worked with images of police brutality that I found on the internet, often taken by family and friends of the victims. I sampled the soundtrack from Santiago Alvarez’s NOW! My video made in memory of him
I wanted to draw attention to the “climate of impunity” within the French police force, described by Amnesty International. More and more, people who complained or spoke out about police violence were being charged with defamation or “outrage et rébellion.” This applied to some journalists documenting the violence too.
Notes about Still and police violence
… I wanted these passages of white, accompanied by the sound of machine guns, to represent the absence of images and information; the vacuum into which, I believe, decades of obscuring information has thrown French society and which to me is also a kind of blinding. What exists behind the white? How many deaths do we not know about? How many cases of mistreatment are not recorded because the victims were silenced or charged with “Outrage & Rebellion”?
On my interest in images uploaded to the internet, at that time
“Does the arrival of a new technology— photography, small video cameras, the Internet, smart phones —completely transform a society? Or at moments in history, do events in the making, call out for and conjure into being the new tools needed to document them—the old forms no longer able to seize them, suddenly rendered redundant, until one day, no longer relied upon, they may be re-visited in a completely fresh way?” (WADDINGTON, Scattered Truth)
The question posed by Waddington regarding the use of new technologies directly interrogates the ways in which photography, mini video cameras, the internet and smartphones have transformed society; namely, a subversion of the relationship between image and event is taking place, to the point that the latter requires new forms and new techniques of documentation. This reflection arises from the artist’s need to replace her old TRV-900, camera with a new high-definition camera, an HDV 1080i; its “over-lit, perfect sheen”, however, preserves nothing of the contradictions and incompleteness, typical of low-definition shots. Thus, the new media of high definition, ends up being defined as a reinforcement of certain and deliberate narratives, leaving no room for doubt and expectation, fundamental elements in the process of the authentication of the image.
Cecilia Bima LOW DEFINITION AND TESTIMONIAL IMAGE:THE VISUAL GAPAS STRATEGY OF AUTHENTICATION
“Top Ten Films of 2009: Material – Thomas Heise, Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood, Le streghe – Jean-Marie Straub, 36 vues du pic Saint Loup – Jacques Rivette, Mary & Max – Adam Elliott, Waterfront Follies – Ernie Gehr, Vincere – Marco Bellocchio, STILL – Laura Waddington, Répons – Marylène Negro, Double Take – Johan Grimonprez”
Federico Rossin, IL MANIFESTO, Italy
“The urgency of STILL is expressed in the pixelated images, unique testimony of people like Joachim Gatti, victim of a flashball that caused the loss of his eye, and of tens of men and children, whose lives were snatched away by police violence. The soundtrack is filled with the sound of machine guns, which punctuate this mosaic of human misery that exposes the will to render invisible”
José Sarmiento Hinojosa DESIST FILM, Peru
“First, she tests the latest industrial audiovisual technologies to call into question her own gaze. Thus a radical experimentation with mini DV can be seen in her work from the 1990s on… ZONE (1995)… The Lost Days (1999)… the images of police violence downloaded for STILL (2009). The technology is, therefore, able to resonate with her two other preoccupations: to produce acts of resilience and systematic disobedience in the face of the obstacles created by anti-immigration policies and the dismantling of the right of asylum, and to focus sustained attention on “those whom society doesn’t care or dare to see, people waiting in limbo and at borders because they do not fit the dominant political narrative or our current economic needs.”
Bidhan Jacobs PLASTICITES DES VIOLENCES POLITIQUES AU DEBUT DU XXIe SIECLE, France
Outrage and Rebellion, online showcase of the collective film on the website of the French online newspaper Mediapart, www.mediapart.fr. (20th January -15th June 2010) (World Premiere)
Outrage and Rebellion, Film Mutations, Third Festival of Invisible Cinema, Zagreb, Croatia, December 2009
Still (extracts), De la propagande révolutionnaire à la contre-information contemporaine. Cinéma militant, politique, social, engagé…L’héritage Dziga Vertov, (Formation pour les enseignants Cinéma et Audiovisuel de l’Académie de Créteil) Presented by Nicole Brenez, La Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France, February 2010
Selected films from Outrage and Rebellion, IndieLisboa’10, Cinema Londres, Lisbon, Portugal, April-May 2010
Laura Waddington: Internationalist Cinema for Today, Anthology Film Archives, New York, Curated by Nicole Brenez, March 2012
Live like a refugee: On the Border, Global Revolt: Cinematic Ammunition, Flaherty NYC, Anthology Film Archives, New York, USA, Curated by Sherry Millner and Ernie Larsen, 10th December 2013
Still, Journée Internationale contre les violences policières (debate and projection organised by Le Comité Justice et Vérité pour Wissam), Clermont Ferrand, France, March 2013