Due to copyright regulations and our limited licence, this week has another surprise in store. So, trust us and our guest Assaf Gruber! This Wednesday, we will travel to an imaginary Caribbean island with historical and remaining traces of violence and oppression. This brilliant cinematic investigation from the late 1960s about the long shadows of colonization focusses on the consciousness – or the lack thereof – of the occupier as well as their intermingling and detention of independence movements. It is shot by a celebrated film maker who has sharply investigated crucial historical moments of resistance and liberation movements in his works – most notably in his seminal, neorealistic film on the Algerian war of independence. The combination of an epic screenplay and Hollywood Western-like visuals (accompanied with a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone) creates an original piece of cinema that is both politically and aesthetically subversive.

This week’s movie is presented by Assaf Gruber who chose this film for our series because “It is so relevant in the context of the program: The fact that it has been forgotten for some time in the history of cinema seems strange because in some important ways, it is more provocative in its criticism towards imperialism than the Algerian-Italian film that preceded it. But the main reason for its poor reception was that the production company questioned the film’s success after the final cut and decided not invest in its promotion, possibly because of concerns of what the film may evoke while the United States was deeply engaged in the Vietnam War.”

Assaf Gruberborn 1980 in Jerusalemis an artist and filmmaker who works and lives in Berlin. He is a graduate of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris. Gruber won the 2008 Les amis des Beaux-arts prize in Paris and is a laureate of the HISK (Higher Institute of Fine Arts of Ghent). In 2012 he was a resident at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien and he obtained a fellowship granted by the Akademie der Künste in Berlin (2013). His work has been shown in venues such as Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2015), POLIN Museum, Warsaw (2016) and MOCA Belgrade (2016). His films have been featured in festivals including Berlinale Film Festival (2016), Lo schermo dell'arte Film Festival (2016), Florence and the International Short film Festival of Oberhausen (2016).