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Single channel, 16mm film transferred to HD colour, sound
Edition of 7 + 2 AP
La Solitude is a poetic essay film in the form of a travelogue. It weaves together the Dreyfus Affair into the history of the moving image as the first Mass Media-Event. It brings forward the immanent failure of comprehension of the Other, appearing before a camera, while at the same time opening a space for fiction.
“So profound is my solitude that I often seem to be lying in my tomb” Alfred Dreyfus, Five Years of My Life, 1894-9
“ <It’s a remarkable piece of apparatus>, said the officer to the explorer”. Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony, 1919
La Solitude takes as its starting point the events around the outcome of the Dreyfus Affair in 1894, events which can shed significant light on the role played by the new medium of the moving image in shaping the imagination and consciousness of millions of people. Shot in French Guiana and on Devil’s Island, the film sets out to trace the diverse, violent histories of the land, from the early days of the slave trade, through the days of the penal colonies, to the new horizons of the European Space Port, all located within a short distance from each other. Shot on 16mm film, La Solitude is an attempt to place the Dreyfus Affair at the heart of the birth of cinema, while addressing the myth of “objective” or “direct” reportage. Villages, ruins, jungles, animals, museums, natives, and landscapes appear in vignettes, edited to support an unseen narrator who provides a voice-over account, a monologue using multiple points of view that expose how and why the affair should be regarded as the first modern media event.