Book Section
Mafrouza is a twelve-hour-long documentary by French director Emanuelle Demoris, shot in a now-demolished neighbourhood in Alexandria, Egypt. Demoris is one of a long chain of western filmmakers who appeal to some form of ‘taking one’s time’ as an instrument for — morally, politically, epistemologically — adequate representation. Based on the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha, Eduard Glissant, and Poor Theory, this chapter evaluates what happens when a film adopts a strategy of deferral in cases in which it is not clear how questions of ‘doing justice’ could be resolved. Using long duration and an insistence on the quotidian, Demoris’s film forces us to think about the conditions that make pronouncements about character, situation, and narrative possible, continuously postponing the moment when it will become possible to say: ‘this film is about …’. By setting itself up for failure, the film proposes one possible approach to the ethics and politics of visibility.
Title
Not Yet
Subtitle
Duration as Detour in Emmanuelle Demoris’s Mafrouza Cycle
Author(s)
Rosa Barotsi
Identifier
Description
Mafrouza is a twelve-hour-long documentary by French director Emanuelle Demoris, shot in a now-demolished neighbourhood in Alexandria, Egypt. Demoris is one of a long chain of western filmmakers who appeal to some form of ‘taking one’s time’ as an instrument for — morally, politically, epistemologically — adequate representation. Based on the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha, Eduard Glissant, and Poor Theory, this chapter evaluates what happens when a film adopts a strategy of deferral in cases in which it is not clear how questions of ‘doing justice’ could be resolved. Using long duration and an insistence on the quotidian, Demoris’s film forces us to think about the conditions that make pronouncements about character, situation, and narrative possible, continuously postponing the moment when it will become possible to say: ‘this film is about …’. By setting itself up for failure, the film proposes one possible approach to the ethics and politics of visibility.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
September 20, 2022
Subject
Slow cinema
Documentary films
Time in motion pictures, Demoris, Emanuelle
Mafrouza
Duration
Rights
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Harvested
yes
Language
en-GB
short title
Not Yet
page start
75
page end
92
Source
Errans: Going Astray, Being Adrift, Coming to Nothing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 24 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2022), pp. 75–92