During this screening, Didier Volckaert will elaborate on his (documentary film) work, including the recent film We Came To Dance, which will be shown in avant-première.
We came to Dance -inside the Human Zoo (2014 - written, directed & edited by Didier Volckaert - 57min.)
World Exhibitions are twilight zones in which actual knowledge about the world and exoticism go together with sexual projection and frustration. Till deep into the 20th century, the then superpowers used "Human Zoos" to spread the worldview that “we” are part of civilization, whereas there are others who are not. Departing from the parallels with amusement park the documentary establishes links with our present infotainment society and the position of media (incl. the documentary itself) as an intermediary and identity determining factor for the audience. Is the motto “To see is to know”, which once adorned an anthropological pavilion, still valid?
Visitors of the Night (1998 - directed by An van. Dienderen, camera & editing by Didier Volckaert - 34min.)
The failures of the ethnographic endeavor to discover “reality” are revealed in this expository and experimental film.
The narrator-ethnographer embarks on an expedition to encounter the Mosou, an isolated and matrilinear tribe in the mountains of South West China. Their society is built on the principle of the axia-relationship, ties between ‘visitors of the night’. This means that a man only stays in his wife’s house at night and during the day he works for the benefit of his grandmother. Since men and women do not have economical obligations, their unique, polyandric relationships are based on love only. Recently due to funding by the Han government, The Lugo region has turned into a major touristic area, where tradition and modernity clash - particularly when the polyandry of the Mosuo is seen as prostitution by outsiders. The filmmakers playfully reveal the distance between textual knowledge and the experience of a cinematographic journey in a thoughtful and fascinating documentary.