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The documentary as a means of communication

Spaces of Exception
Regissør: Matt Peterson Malek Rasamny
(USA, Libanon og Palestina)

Spaces of Exception compares the experience of oppression and resistance, and finds similarities between North American Native American reserves and Palestinian refugee camps.

The documentary genre is gaining more respect and attention as an innovative film format in itself. Released from the expectation of imitating the pseudo-objectivity of journalistic reporting, with its worn-out formula "faces talking to camera or each other", several directors have recently experimented with the documentary as a means to promote cases, activism and popular mobilization.

The Sharjah Film Platform in the United Arab Emirates was organized for the first time in January this year, and will be a springboard for regional Arabic film as well as a meeting place for critical engagement. Here, documentary filmmaker Malek Rasamny participated in a panel entitled Documentary Expanded, presenting a vision of himself and his colleagues as communicators. What he is concerned about is not only the source of the stories, but also where they are passed on until the end product is showcased; which communication lines are created and which mutual access is created between separate groups. Rasamny, based in New York and Beirut, directed with Matt Peterson Spaces of Exception (2018), a documentary that had its world premiere on Sharjah, and which the directors created in the hope that it would serve as a medium of cross-border solidarity for groups exposed to land theft and repression.

Spaces of Exception Directors: Matt Peterson and Malek Rasamny

Land and the exercise of power

"In Navaho, we have no word for relocation, to relocate means to disappear and never be seen again," says a North American Indian in Spaces of Exception. The documentary shows how important local affiliation is for a people's collective identity and spiritual unity, and that occupying forces systematically break such ties and take control of land with the help of. . .

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Carmen Gray
Gray is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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