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mazefilm film & gender - politics

Mleeta
Sandra Schäfer
2-channel video installation, 12 min, 2016


Installation at 66th Berlinale, Forum Expanded, Traversing the Phantasm, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2016

A film projection in a movie theater shows a Hezbollah representative giving a fiery, agitational speech. Guns are powered up; bombs explode. The second screen in the installation shows the same image zoomed in close; the video moves forwards and backwards at different speeds. Cut: “The Abyss” scenario: We watch viewers watching. Israeli tanks plunge into the depths; an armored conduit is tied in knots while another aims at a golden orange surface. The camera follows dark, underground passages; radio noise transitions into prayer chants. The view opens out to the landscape. A man’s hand grips the handrail of an observation platform as a signal noise grows louder and louder, cutting through the panorama perspective.
The tourist gaze overlaps with the military.

‘Mleeta’ was filmed and staged on location at the ‘Museum of Resistance’ in Lebanon. During the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon (1982-2000), Mleeta Mountain stood right in the middle of the occupied zone. Thirty-five kilometers from Israel to the south and forty kilometers from Syria to the east, the mountain served as a haven for Hezbollah fighters, making it the site of real battles as well.
The summit of Mleeta is now home to the ‘Museum of Resistance’, a propagandistic re-enactment that reproduces scenic and military scenarios. Set up in the style of a theme park, visitors assume the role of both observer and performer. An auditorium screens lavishly-produced films that dramatically tell the history of the past battles, while guns and other weapons are integrated into the museum’s architecture.

The installation ‘Mleeta’ explores this theme park’s script with its perspectives, stagings, and narratives, with a focus on the creation of affective perception.


Installation at 66th Berlinale, Forum Expanded, Traversing the Phantasm, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2016


Installation at 66th Berlinale, Forum Expanded, Traversing the Phantasm, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2016


Video still


Video still