RETRODREAMING examines the common phenomenon of ghostly, abandoned schools due to demographic change in the countryside of Japan. Empty schools in deserted villages tell their own story: May it be during the pandemic, after a nuclear catastrophe, or just due to depopulation. The film references the Japanese tradition of telling "Kaidan"(ghost stories/scary stories) and the multiple school-themed "Kaidan"(Gakkō no Kaidan, Japanese for "Scary School Story") in Japanese mainstream culture, which encompass the idea of entities and memories remaining in these architectures.
The film focuses on the visual quality of the Showa-era architecture of the abandoned Sawada School in Nakanojo. A voice from a tape recorder recalls the reality of a secret experiment during a pandemic that resulted in further mysterious events. The audiovisual experience draws the viewer into a strange, suspenseful atmosphere somewhere between an unlived retro-future, a sci-fi dream, and an unfinished mystery tale.
Alisa Berger was born in 1987 in Makhachkala (Republic of Dagestan, Russia) and raised in Lviv (Ukraine) until she immigrated with her family to Essen (Germany) in 1995. Her work explores the perception of body and the borders of identity in the medium of film.
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