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PROGRAM 2: GHOST COUNTRIES

Mike Hoolboom

Thursday, 5 June, 13.30h, Cinema
Saturday, 7 June, 22.00h, Cinema

ESCAPE IN CANADA
16mm / 00:09:00 / Canada / 1993
The cross-country travelogue which is the basis of this film was made in the fourties. Sponsored by the Canadian government this documentary is pitched towards an American understanding, unfolding the blank geography of its northern neighbour as a playground for the leisure class.

MEXICO
16mm / 00:35:00 / Canada / 1992 (made with Steve Sanguedolce)
Although the film’s initial context is a languidly dystopic trip from Toronto to Mexico and back again, its true subject is power: the power inscribed in the unseeing gaze of the tourist, the power manifest in the North American Free Trade Agreement that was signed in 1992. Under NAFTA Mexican workers threaten to be divided up by American and Canadian corporations tired of living wages, labour unions and environmental regulations.

PASSING ON
16mm / 00:20:00 / Canada / 1998
Hoolboom records the loss of loved ones whose features he stares at with lasting affection. Beautifully simple recuring shots of the white square with black lines crossing it represent the realm of the hereafter, where the ghosts go. With contained and poignant lyricism, Passing On addresses itself to death as something familiar, death which prowls and throws into relief the images of a cinema trying to resist another death, no doubt worse, a white death of memories forgotten. (Jean Perret)


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