Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language is a conversation and an invitation to traverse the realms of images, letters, sounds and what emerges of their collision. The films that anchor this conversation vary immensely in landscapes, styles, languages and techniques, and so the notion of a “cinematic language” was not sufficient here. In our inquiry about what language a film speaks, we started from the act of stuttering.

What is a film that stutters? What drives an image that moves between languages, registers, dialects and denies meaning the fixity it often gravitates towards? How do we make sense of circular motions, disjointed temporalities and muffled speech? At points hesitant, but always unambiguous, the films that make up this program create a gesture that points to the intimate, compound relationship between text, image, sound and speech.

As Dürrenwaid 8 dives deep into a collective unconscious, summoning a pre-lingual semantics, Rapture emerges from the ocean depths, attempting to reorganize meaning and memory following a near death experience. While the image of a betrayed revolution is dissected and sewn together in Notes on Seeing Double, Core Dump – Dakar imagines, in its own glitch aesthetics, a recycled future in the broken languages of the present empires. Wondering, in a future where African civilization is sovereign, what tongue will the sovereign speak? And when Nutsigassat experiments with an ultimately faithful translation to recount for the cultures lost to modernity, NoirBLUE reenvisions subtitles as yet another corpus in the choreography of searching for lost origins.

Selection and Program: 96 negatives