Veteran festival film programmer Rasha Salti reports from the seventy-second edition of the Cannes Film Festival. She devotes the first part of her report to an anthropological description of the Darwinian “biosphere” that is Cannes, a psychosocial experiment where status is measured in the type and color of your festival badge. After calling attention to the particular hypocrisies of the Cannes subculture, according to which the social injustices rendered on-screen are far more compelling than those encountered outside the screening room, Salti turns her attention to the cinematic highlights of the festival. Observing that it was an exceptional year for African and Arab cinema, Salti the prevalence of themes relating to zombies, ghosts, and possession in films from these regions, including Mati Diop's Grand Prix winner, Atlantique.
Chronicles from the Biosphere: A Film Programmer's Report from the Cannes Film Festival
Rasha Salti is a researcher, writer and curator of art and film based in Beirut and Berlin. She has co-curated programs on Arab, Syrian, and Lebanese cinema for Film at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art (NY), and has worked as a programmer for the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2009–2010) and the Toronto International Film Festival (2011–2015) among others. At present she is the commissioning editor for the experimental documentary program “La Lucarne” for Arte France.
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Rasha Salti; Chronicles from the Biosphere: A Film Programmer's Report from the Cannes Film Festival. Film Quarterly 1 September 2019; 73 (1): 77–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2019.73.1.77
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