MY DARLING SUPERMARKET

Work­ing to the rhythm of the aisles of a banal super­mar­ket, the employ­ees seem seized by the repet­i­tive tasks and their rou­tine. There is the team from the bakery sec­tion who kneads, assem­bles, and bakes bread and cakes. There are the women and men who pile boxes on the stalls or the employ­ees who keep an eye on each cus­tomer through the secu­ri­ty screens… Day after day, all the work­ers in this Brazil­ian super­mar­ket keep pace with this rig­or­ous­ly orches­trat­ed ballet. Through the lens of her camera, Tali Yankele­vich observes this place, from an unusu­al angle, and then anoth­er unknown, strange and mar­vel­lous dimen­sion emerges. Dec­la­ra­tions of love, quan­tum mechan­ics, role play­ing in cos­tume and lit­er­ary dis­cus­sions pop­u­late the extra­or­di­nary sto­ries of MY DARLING SUPERMARKET. By reveal­ing the human­i­ty at the heart of the famil­iar place, in which we rarely show much inter­est, the super­mar­ket becomes a fine metaphor for talk­ing about the neces­si­ty of imag­i­na­tion in every­day life. And what if the mean­ing of our lives could be revealed in the aisles of a super­mar­ket? (Made­line Robert, Visions du Réel)

Tali Yankele­vich grew up in São Paulo and moved to the UK in 2005 to study film­mak­ing at the Edin­burgh Col­lege of Art. The shorts she direct­ed as a stu­dent were screend at renowned inter­na­tion­al fes­ti­vals such as Sil­ver­docs, Visions du Reel and others. Her first comis­sioned short doc­u­men­tary THE PERFECT FIT (2011, 9 min) was devel­oped through the Scot­tish Doc­u­men­tary Institute’s scheme, Bridg­ing the Gap. The film won an award at SXSW in 2012 as well as being short­list­ed for an Oscar nom­i­na­tion in 2013, for best doc­u­men­tary short sub­ject. Back in Brazil, Tali direct­ed the short film ‘A Gilr’s Day’ for the inter­na­tion­al series ‘Why Pover­ty?’. MY DARLING SUPERMARKET was sup­port­ed by IDFA Bertha Fund and is her first doc­u­men­tary fea­ture film.

Direc­tor, script: Tali Yankelevich
Cin­e­matog­ra­phy: Gus­ta­vo Almeida
Script, edit­ing: Marco Korodi
Script advi­sor: Victor Kossakovsky
Com­pos­er: André de Cillo, Alex Buck
Sound­de­sign: INPUT | artesonora
Pro­duc­tion: Casa Redonda
Dis­tri­b­u­tion: Elo Com­pa­ny, São Paolo luisa.graca@elocompany.com

With Our Eyes

Affect­ed by the polit­i­cal real­i­ty in Den­mark, WITH OUR EYES exam­ines how col­lab­o­ra­tive trans­gres­sion can break down the stereo­typ­i­cal image of Mus­lims. In the film, the char­ac­ters become par­tic­i­pants by exper­i­ment­ing with role­play. They use their own bodies to por­tray their real­i­ty and expe­ri­ences in Den­mark, and some­times they even imag­ine other futures. It shows a real­i­ty that is both absurd and tragic and cre­ates anger. The film gives the audi­ence a glimpse into the lives of the par­tic­i­pants, who share every­thing at their get-togeth­ers: from every­day encoun­ters with prej­u­dices, to how it feels to be the sub­ject of public debate, to their views about paths to lib­er­a­tion. The film departs from the field of visual anthro­pol­o­gy and oscil­lates between doc­u­men­tary-making and fic­tion­al sto­ry­telling, there­by becom­ing what is also called ethnofiction.

ADDICTED TO SOLITUDE

»I trav­elled to South Africa to find a white family on a des­o­late farm and film how they faced the new days of equal­i­ty after Apartheid, but I soon lost my way both on the end­less roads and in my mind. Instead the film became a story about two dif­fer­ent white women who both expe­ri­enced a tragic loss in the midst of a white com­mu­ni­ty who wasn’t too fond of the future. Both women gained strength from over­com­ing the loss to face tomor­row though from dif­fer­ent angles. Their per­son­al sto­ries remind­ed me of a pos­si­ble des­tiny for the white tribe. By loos­ing their priv­i­leges, they had to allow every­body into their world and could final­ly relieve them­selves of a lone­li­ness which has haunt­ed them since the first bush­man was killed by a Euro­pean bullet. »If you have no love you’re going to be cruel« a woman says in the film. That goes for cul­tures as well…

THE SWENKAS

This doc­u­men­tary is a story about the Swenkas, a small group of work­ing Zulu men in post-apartheid South Africa. Men who every Sat­ur­day night leave their grimy over­alls behind and wear their best Car­duc­ci or Pierre Cardin suits to impress the weekly select­ed judge. The Swenkas have run this fash­ion show for so many years that no one remem­bers exact­ly when – or even why – it all began. Nor­mal­ly, the prize for best suit and style of the night is money, but on spe­cial occa­sions like Christ­mas the winner walks home with a living goat or even a cow on a leash. 

FRIENDS, FOOLS, FAMILY

In 2003 Berit Madsen und Anne Mette Jør­gensen went to Niger to make a film with Damouré Zika, Moussa Hami­dou and Tallou Mouzourane, Rouch’s col­lab­o­ra­tors. The film­mak­ers had seen them in numer­ous films that they had made togeth­er with the famous French anthro­pol­o­gist and film­mak­er Jean Rouch, over a period of more than fifty years. They were curi­ous to learn how Rouch’s friends in Niger had expe­ri­enced all these years of work­ing with him and the cinema. This film was record­ed in 2003. Rouch died one year later on a desert road in Niger. 

NGAT IS DEAD

What do anthro­pol­o­gists mean when they claim to study the cul­tur­al tra­di­tions of others by par­tic­i­pat­ing in them? This film fol­lows the Dutch anthro­pol­o­gist Ton Otto, who has been adopt­ed by a family on Baluan Island in Papua New Guinea. Due to the death of his adop­tive father, he has to take part in mor­tu­ary cer­e­monies, whose form and con­tent are pas­sion­ate­ly con­test­ed by dif­fer­ent groups of rel­a­tives. Through pro­longed nego­ti­a­tions, Ton learns how Baluan people per­form and trans­form their tra­di­tions and not least what role he plays him­self. The film is part of long-term field research, in which film­mak­ing has become inte­grat­ed in the ongo­ing dia­logue and exchange between the islanders and the anthropologist. 

Unity through Culture

Soanin Kilan­git is deter­mined to unite the people and attract inter­na­tion­al tourism through the revival of cul­ture on Baluan Island in the South Pacif­ic. He orga­nizes the largest cul­tur­al fes­ti­val ever held on the island. But some tra­di­tion­al lead­ers argue that Baluan never had cul­ture. Cul­ture comes from the white man and is now destroy­ing their old tra­di­tion. Others, how­ev­er, take the fes­ti­val as a wel­come oppor­tu­ni­ty to revolt against ’70 years of cul­tur­al oppres­sion’ by Chris­tian­i­ty. A strug­gle to define the past, present and future of Baluan cul­ture erupts to the sound of thun­der­ing log drum rhythms.