At the Museum
Goings-on at Museum of the Moving Image
“Documentary, through its earliest forms, is a colonial concept. The white man appears and then because he is the master, he unveils the story the way he sees it. He, literally, becomes the seer,” says filmmaker Marjan Safinia who, for the past 20 years, has been collaborating on documentaries.
The corrections center actually functions as a reprieve for many of these women, who went from abusive childhoods straight into abusive marriages when they were as young as 12. The fact that a male filmmaker is let into this world shows their trust of him.
It is not interested in the hospital as a site of sickness. Tortum’s documentary is concerned with workers—the human element that can transform the moribund into a “festive” feeling—following the daily doings of surgeons, nurses, janitors, dieners, students, and professors.
The tonal, visual, and thematic contrasts between these two masters of British filmmaking all seem to converge around their seemingly diametric views of mother England: a sober bulwark of civilization for Jennings; a largely hollowed-out husk for Jarman.