Al Kabus

For the 49th screening of our series, we are excited to announce an evening of film from the KINO Projekt by Franziska Pierwoss and Siska.

A business man from Casablanca involuntarily exchanges his present reality of a 1980s urban life when he in his dreams is thrown back to the times of french protectorate rule in Morocco and wakes up to a remote countryside life in the 1940s. Al Kabus tells the nightmare vision of being haunted by traditional past and colonial rule in present times.

Born in 1948 in Casablanca Ahmed Yachfine studied Interior design in the Academy of Fine Arts Rome, received a PHD in Arabic literature in Strasbourg and studied film in Los Angeles’s UCLA. He only made two long feature films, Al Kabus in 1984 and Khayfa in 1995. Yachfine's biography is representative for a whole generation of filmmakers who share the same background: a childhood during colonial rule, later witnessing independence and heading abroad to study during the 1960s, the golden age of filmmaking.

This copy of the film was found in Casablanca in 2015 during our research process for the KINO Projekt.

The KINO Projekt by Franziska Pierwoss and Siska is a traveling movie theater screening video works and private or amateur super 8 and 16mm films. Following in-depth research of the respective city's cinema history, the KINO takes on the name of a former movie theater that was closed down and reopens for several nights in public space. Like a regular movie theater, a neon sign is put up, tickets are sold at the entrance and a bar selling drinks and popcorn is installed. The KINO project started in Beirut in 2009, where, many cinemas have disappeared due to the Lebanese civil war and its consequences on the city. More than 50 movie theaters with names such as Goumon Palace, Piccadilly, Starco and Vendome simply vanished. Some never reopened following the war or turned into big commercial malls, some turned into porn cinemas or were simply demolished.

Since the KINO Projekt was first realized in Beirut in 2009, it has traveled to Warsaw (2010), Naples (2011), Zürich (2013), Minneapolis (2015) and Cologne (2017).

Siska, Beirut-born (1984), lives and works between Beirut and Berlin. He holds an M.F.A. in Film-making from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). Siska's multidisciplinary work often questions the ruination of Arab cultural heritage and the conflicted interrelationship between individual rights and state duties, while stressing on sociopolitical gaps between the personal and the collective. His work was recently been shown in Centre 104 Paris, Mosaic rooms London, Beirut Exhibition Center, and his latest film will be premiering in the Berlinale's Forum Expanded 2018.

Franziska Pierwoss (*1981, Tübingen/Germany) is a Berlin-based performance and installation artist, who also works as an organizer & initiator of various cultural projects who has been staging performances related to historical meals since 2014. Her work has recently been shown at the 13th Sharjah Biennial; Harburger Kunstverein; Beirut Art Center; and, at MUAC, Mexico City.


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