Hubert Sauper: The Art of Mastering Non-fiction Filmmaking
May 14, 2016 | 14:00 to 17:00
About the Event
What is the quest of every non-fiction filmmaker? Immediately after deciding on a subject and researching the facts comes the question of form and formulation, the ‘creation’ so to speak: What is a movie supposed to look like in terms of texture, mood, rhythm? What is its narrative structure? What is the obvious statement and what is the subtext, the tangible part of a film that isn’t shown? As an author you have to mentally ‘see’ the film long before making it. A film probably has to be dreamt before being made.
In a practical sense, therein lies the challenge: physically and mentally, how do I get inside the world of the people who are featured in the film? It is about ‘access’: access to places where cameras are most strictly forbidden (Chinese oil fields in deepest Sudan, military airports in a civil war, government meetings) and access to the mind – even the subconscious – of the people who ‘carry’ the film by their presence.
Is it a ‘game’, a science, a craft to be learnt? What is the notion of ‘art’ within the cinematic form that represents what we refer to as ‘reality’?
About the Director
Hubert SAUPER (1966) was born in Austria. He has lived in Britain, Italy, the US, Tanzania and DR Congo and settled in Paris, France in the mid-1990s. SAUPER was often invited to attend forums around the world and to teach master classes at various universities and film festivals. He is also a winner of more than fifty international awards.
His films tackle serious topics such as family, colonisation, globalisation and politics, but are unique in their poetic lyricism. Often using small video cameras, SAUPER wanders back and forth into the lands beyond our reach, conducting spontaneous interviews and documenting what he sees and hears from a close distance and a bird’s-eye view, putting together a panoramic picture with a strong auteur vision. Among his works, the African trilogy, which he spent over twenty years making, reveals the troubles of the ‘Dark Continent’ and has been regarded a masterpiece that delves deep into its contemporary plight.
“I understand much more about myself being European since I’ve been travelling a lot in Africa. Both continents have such a tight co-relationship, thousands of years of pathological dialectic, which is basically what I’m trying to describe. I’d like to describe worlds which are on the friction lines where worlds collide. […] The essence of this kind of filmmaking is not only to document but also to explore what you feel as much as you can. Often, this contains more truth than what is the obvious truth.” – Hubert SAUPER