Survey by Qualaroo

John Akomfrah Selects: Films in relation to Vertigo Sea.

As John Akomfrah's critically acclaimed film installation Vertigo Sea reaches its final fortnight here at Arnolfini our Production Assistant James Sargent has taken a closer look at the films that the artist finds inspirational.

Criss-crossing the global and personal perspectives in World Cinema see John’s choices below along with some extra reading to find out more...

The Battle of Chile, Patricio Guzmán, 1975 (Chile-Cuba-France)

A three part chronicle of the political tension in Chile 1973, and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Read more: Patricio Guzmán’s Tribute to the Producer of the film, Chris Marker  - What I Owe to Chris Marker


Subarnarekha (the Golden Tread), Ritwik Ghatak, 1965 (India)

Set in a refugee Colony, this is the final part of Ritwik Ghatak’s Partition of India trilogy around the socio-economic implications of Partition.

Read more: Megan Carrigy Senses of Cinema article on The Great Director

A City of Sadness, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1989 (Taiwan)

The Director evokes a chaotic period of Taiwan's history in the story of a single family in the upheaval and rebellion after the Japanese surrender the Taiwanese colony to China 1945.

Described as ‘heart stoppingly beautiful’ Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s latest film The Assassin, is showing in cinemas now. 

The Hour of the Furnaces, Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, 1968 (Argentina)

A key activist film from the 1960’s, outlawed by the Military and mobile screened by the filmmakers groups Grupo Cine Liberación (The Liberation Film Group).

Read more: Nicole Brenez’s Article in Sight and Sound Light my fire: The Hour of the Furnaces

Sans Soleil, Chris Marker, 1983 (France)

A Quintessential essayist filmmaker. Meditating on time and memory, through stock footage, voiceover and his own 16mm footage.

Read more: Jonathan Rosenbaum Personal Effects: The Guarded Intimacy of Sans Soleil


Why not search out these remarkable films at Bristol’s very own Twentieth Century Flicks video store and for more selections from John see the BFI Player Collection from last year.

"Many of the films that I have selected from the Arts Council Film Collection can be seen as sites of convergence. The most successful ones are those where the meeting of different art forms has a transformative impact on all of the elements involved." John Akomfrah, 2015


Vertigo Sea screens here at Arnolfini to April 10. Admission is free. Find out more.

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