Sarah sprints to catch the train before she’s told it’s been delayed an hour. She begins to calms down slightly, then realizes she’s left her ticket at home—she was trying to get everything done last minute—and now has to pay for another one, and a fine on top of that, because she hadn’t managed to book the ticket online or through the app the day before. And if the train is full, she might not be able to find a seat. Sarah had been in a hurry because the water in the house had been cut off because of a plumbing issue, and the plumber hadn’t turned up on time. She’d found herself at a loss: should she call the plumber back and beg him to come so there could be running water in the apartment again—she’d hoped to take a quick shower before traveling—or was that a bad idea because there wasn’t enough time now and she’d be better off using whatever water was left and fix the pipes when she got back? Meanwhile, Sarah had gotten an angry phone call from her boss because she hadn’t finished the rest of the reports and had handed them over to a colleague who had gotten an emergency call from her kid’s nursery and promptly left without finishing the reports, or telling Sarah. At the train station, Sarah drinks the last dregs of bad coffee, thinking about several things. Why is making choices always such an arduous process? There aren’t any comfortable or easy ones; they all look alike, most of them at the back of the line. When options are limited, and where there’s little opportunity for contemplation, the best decision is the fastest one. She always has to pick from what’s left of opportunity, if anything is. Sarah’s reflections are present in this selection of films, which tackle a range of often overlapping ideas about doublethink, comfort and fear, memory and image. These works take us on distracting, contradictory, and sometimes random journeys, through suggestions to observe sensory pathways that are light and simple, and sometimes political, violent or stressful. Some of them call on approaches to image or sound that have special or symbolic significance, or that are linked to collective memory, in order to create these journeys, which are, in the end, abstract narratives about our choices and our perpetually difficult relationships with things, be they physical, sensory, or what remains.
Film selection and programming by Mohamed Allam and Mena El Shazly.
This program is in collaboration with de*sync by CIC