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Scratch Projection / September 19, 2023

FILIATIONS AND REAPPROPRIATIONS: TWO FILMS BY SU FRIEDRICH

Screening organized in partnership with the GBFA Film Club of the Paris College of Art, with the filmmaker in attendance

“Making films has been a way for me to periodically grab hold of the elusive world, untangle the questions surrounding my past and articulate the fears, disappointments, and aspirations I have about life. Shooting film is exciting, but it’s also a great relief to me. With a camera, I’m able to sort through the incessant stream of images that life offers, and by framing and movement I am able to show it as I see it.” – Su Friedrich

Since the late 1970s, Su Friedrich has been exploring her identity through her films and the various events (intimate or political, personal or historic) that shape it. Resolutely feminist and formally free, her work deals with such questions as her own dreams and desires, her roots and family history, not to mention education, sexuality and politics (economic and racial inequalities, gentrification, exploitation…)

In The Ties that Bind, the filmmaker converses with her mother, questioning her about her youth in Nazi Germany during the Second World War and her subsequent immigration to the United States. Her mother’s memories recounted via voice-over come into contrast with the silence of the filmmaker’s questions and comments scratched directly onto the film. Their exchange is punctuated by a complex montage of archival footage, home movies and present-day images, offering a powerful reflection on the relationship between the two generations as well as on the parallels that can be established between totalitarianism and contemporary North American politics.

“While my particular story shapes the film, it’s less important than the experience of the viewer, who should be free to remember his or her own stories, disapprove of, argue with, or identify with my experience” — this is how Su Friedrich characterizes the intimate yet universal nature of her approach, where her films proceed from questionings, doubts and conflicts that challenge us as viewers. Thus, thirty years after The Ties that Bind, she has dedicated a new film to her mother, I Cannot Tell You How I Feel, this time concentrating on questions of filial care and responsibility – and anguish. At the same time, the film functions as a metareflection on her own film work and the complex relationship between life and the creative process.


On Monday, September 18th, the Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir presents Visite à Su Friedrich, a portrait of the filmmaker directed by Frédérique Devaux and Michel Amarger. More information here.

FILIATIONS AND REAPPROPRIATIONS: TWO FILMS BY SU FRIEDRICH

Tuesday September 19, 2023, 20:00



THE TIES THAT BIND
by Su FRIEDRICH
1984 / 16mm / b&w / sound / 55' 00
I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL
by Su FRIEDRICH
2016 / DCP / color / sound / 42' 00

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