La Zerda Ou Les Chants De L’Oubli (Zerda or the Songs of Forgetting)
Where: Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129th St.
212-854-1754 Price: free
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Dir. Assia Djebar, 1982, in Arabic and French with English and German subtitles, 60 min
Programmed in conjunction with Waiting for Omar Gatlato: Contemporary Art from Algeria and Its Diaspora, this film series presents diverse perspectives in Algerian cinema from the years following independence in 1962 through today. Consisting of both historical and contemporary titles, it highlights the work of filmmakers and protagonists alike in their search to present post-revolutionary realities.
“In a Maghreb that had been totally subjugated and condemned to silence, photographers and filmmakers flocked to record images of us…”
Winner of the special prize for best historical film at the 1983 Berlin International Film Festival, La Zerda ou les chants de l’oubli at the time of its premiere presented a new way to understand Algerian history. Comprised of footage of the zerda feast from 1912-1942 and paired with a soundtrack of anonymous voices and fragments of poetry, this rarely screened experimental film essay, directed by Algerian writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar, is a powerful examination of the colonial archive in the search for the voices of the silenced.
Introduced by Asma Abbas, Associate Professor of Politics and Philosophy, Bard College at Simon’s Rock
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