Today, the art world and beyond is obsessed with shooting analog. Whether it’s a fashion house seeking to bring a new edge to their creative work, an amateur perusing eBay for the perfect vintage Polaroid, or an influencer attempting to capture a comforting retro aesthetic on social media, analog photography has piqued the interest of people everywhere. Is this resurgence a backlash against digital photography? Is it just a trend perpetuated by our desire for authenticity in an increasingly superficial world? Or is it something else entirely?
Grain: Analog Renaissance is a documentary by Alex Contell and Tommaso Sacconi that explores the stories of those committed to using film in modern day photography.
Valencia, July 2006. One of the worse subway disasters in history occurs when a train derails, killing 43. While relatives mourn the victims, attention turns to the arrival of the Pope five days later, a PR agency is hired to sweep the incident under the carpet and within a month the case is closed.
Faced with a media blackout and a wall-of-silence from the government, a small group of families of the victims led by Beatriz Garrote begin what at first appears to be a hopeless cause – to find the truth about what happened that fateful day and seek justice for those who died.
The Strategy of Silence chronicles their 9 year struggle, and along the way exposes government corruption, mass safety breaches, a cynical culture of cover-ups and both a media and judiciary in thrall to government officials.
From nothing the protests grow until they can no longer be ignored, Beatriz’s band of bereaved campaigners first take over their local television station and finally reach the European Parliament. They are granted an independent investigation vindicating their entire struggle and finally leading to the downfall of the leading PP party.
The Strategy of Silence is an inspiring under-dog story, that showcases government capacity for deception and abuse, but also the power that we as citizens can – with courage and tenacity – take back.
The Strategy of Silence from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
German and Greek nationalists have paradoxically joined forces, and grown in numbers promoting a fascist agenda while on both sides, antifascists have risen to challenge them amidst a backdrop of global recession, finger-pointing and scapegoating.
Burning from the Inside charts the rise of the Greek Nazis ‘Golden Dawn’ – the ‘monstrous’ child of the crisis – the changes they brought to Greek society after their entry to parliament, their collaboration with German Neo-Nazis in the formation of ‘Black International’, and their fall two years later with the murder of the anti-fascist Pavlos Fissas.
Through the trajectory of the party, we question the political and social structures of Greek leadership that fomented the rise of fascism and corruption, as well as the dis-function of Capitalism and Democracy in the country that gave birth to it. We also look at the role of Germany as the ‘queen of Europe’ and the extent to which she is responsible for developments in southern European countries.
While the rise of far right may seem unthinkable, dramatic scenes of racially motivated blood shed on the streets of Athens, police brutality linked to membership of far-right organisations and institutional racism in Greece tell a different story. Meanwhile, in Germany a more subtle, insidious message reaches the public with headlines blaming ‘lazy Greeks’ and other minorities within the country. Burning from the Inside is a visceral indictment of a deadly minority on the fringes of Europe that we ignore at our peril.