Both 20.000 Days on Earth, The Second Game, and Concerning Violence have made remarkable and bold decisions in form.

20.000 Days on Earth on Nick Cave, made by Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard, is very far from your traditional music documentary, a genre, which can be – as Mr Cave said himself – tedious. The film moves from one telling scene to another: Nick Cave in session with a Freudian therapist, in a car with friends or colleagues, or going through his personal archive. The scenes are put together with him in writing, in the studio and in concert through footsteps, silence, we change from one space to the other, from one sentiment to another through movements and space and even through silence. This transports the viewer into another realm, wherein the project of ‘understanding Nick Cave’, of solving the riddle is given up for something much more special: The riddle of transformation, the transformative power of art and the beauty and truth inherent in mystery.

As Cave says in the film – I’m not interested in what I understand. Somewhere in the lumps between the fictional worlds I create, the truth sometimes pops it’s head up and disappears again. Whether you love him or not, the film will transport you into a land of mystery.

The Second Game has a much more simple construction, indeed it’s the simplicity of form which makes it bold.  The film follows a football match between the 2 leading Romanian teams played 26 years ago: a year before the fall of Ceausescu. All we see are the poor quality images from the game, a game played in the snow, with an audience of people all dressed in black, all with black umbrellas. Accompanying the images are the voices of the referee and his son, the director. They comment the whole game, digress, consider other options of how it could have gone, how the father could have handled the game. Sometimes there is silence. The game ends up 0-0.

It sounds like a drag, but it’s not. It’s strangely fascinating. There is no clear sub-text, but many. As an audience you’re not pushed, but puzzled.

Concerning Violence by Göran Hugo Olsson (Black Power Mixtape, 2011), is an intellectual challenge, where you are forced to leave your liberal comfort by the door. The film is an essay in 9 chapters plus a prologue, based on outtakes from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. The film delves into the violent and dehumanising forces of colonialism as well as de-colonization. The combination of his sharp, provoking words on the inescapable violence as a response to colonization with archival footage from previous wars, colonizers, victims, and missionaries creates a space in suspense.

For once, the finger also points to us, the kind of people, who watch this kind of film: “I don’t see a priest or an intellectual take my beatings in my place..” is one of the quotes that echoes with me. Greedy Mother Europe, who stuffs herself with the wealth from the colonies is in debt – not the other way around.

Fanon suggests a different kind of future for Africa, a future that is not crafted in the image of the European, and a human being not crafted in the image of the European.

A new kind of human – can you imagine?

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