A Bristol premiere screening; In Vitro will be the climax of an evening showcasing the ground-breaking work of Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind. This will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.
This event is in association with Spike Island.
Four films, made over the last ten years, track the filmmakers’ evolving use of the sci-fi genre to explore issues of history, place and identity.
A Space Exodus (5’24”), dir: Larissa Sansour 2009 – A Space Exodus quirkily sets up an adapted stretch of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey in a Middle Eastern political context. The recognisable music score of the 1968 science fiction are changed to arabesque chords, matching the surreal visuals of Sansour’s film.
Nation Estate (9’), dir: Larissa Sansour 2012 – Nation Estate explores a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood. Palestinians have their state in the form of a single skyscraper: The Nation Estate. One colossal high-rise houses the entire Palestinian population – now finally living the high life.
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (29’), dir: Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind 2016 – In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain explores the role of myth for history, fact and national identity. A narrative resistance group makes underground deposits of elaborate porcelain. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. By implementing a myth of its own, their work becomes a historical intervention – de facto creating a nation.
In Vitro (28’), dir: Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind 2019 – Set in the aftermath of an eco-disaster, a vast bunker under the biblical town of Bethlehem has been converted into an enormous orchard. Using heirloom seeds collected in the final days before the disaster, a group of scientists are preparing to replant the soil above.
In the hospital wing of the underground compound, the orchard’s ailing founder, 70-year-old Dunia, is lying on her deathbed when 30-year-old Alia, Dunia’s successor, comes to visit her. Alia was born underground and has never seen the town she’s destined to rebuild.
Beautifully shot, this stunning film expertly explores the themes of inherited trauma, exile and collective memory.
In Vitro was produced by Spike Island for the Danish Pavilion at 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, 2019.
Larissa Sansour was born in 1973 in East Jerusalem. She received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MA in fine art from New York University. She was also a visiting student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Sansour lives and works in London. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to art, working in video, photography, installation and sculpture to create overtly political works that explore and approximate the Palestinian experience. References and details within the work borrow heavily from genre film and pop culture in combination with global politics and social issues to create intricate parallel worlds in which new value systems can be decoded.
Søren Lind is a Danish author. He writes children’s books and literary fiction. With a background in philosophy, Lind has written books on mind, language and understanding before turning to fiction. As well as children’s books, he has published a novel and collections of short stories. Lind is also a visual artist and writes short film scripts.
Denmark, UK, Palestine
Arabic with English subtitles
Hiam Abbass, Maisa Abd Elhadi