• Spectres
Genre : Historical
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2011
Format : Feature
Running time : 102 (in minutes)

Fifty years after his assassination, Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, is back to haunt Belgium. Through commemorations, encounters and a return visit, a top-ranking Belgian civil servant who was in Elisabethville on that tragic day of 17 January 1961 attempts to exorcise the ghosts of the past. To the sound of St John Passion by J.S. Bach, SPECTRES plunges us into one of the blackest days of the Belgian Congo's decolonisation. An examination of the biopolitical body, this feature-length film by Sven Augustijnen exposes the fine line separating legitimation and historiography and the traumatic question of responsability and debt.

SPECTRES won the Public Libraries Prize and GNCR Prize and received a special mention from the jury of the International Competition at FID Marseille (FR) July 2011.

As part of Sven Augustijnen's solo exhibition a book SPECTRES is published by ASA Publishers.

2011, BELGIUM, documentary, Colour, HD, 102'

Original version: French
Subtitles: English

Concept and image: Sven Augustijnen
Sound recording: Benoît Bruwier and Jeff Levillain
Sound mixing: Benoît Bruwier
Editing: Mathieu Haessler & Sven Augustijnen
Music: St Johns Passion, J.S. Bach (performed by La Petite Bande)

Production and distribution: Auguste Orts

Produced by Auguste Orts
Production assistent: Fairuz

co-produced by Projections, Cobra Films and Jan Mot

With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, CERA Partners in Art, Mu.ZEE, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren, de Appel arts centre, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Kunsthalle Bern, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Kunstencentrum BUDA, FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists, Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain - Région Bourgogne, Le Fresnoy studio national des arts contemporains

Patrice Lumumba played a decisive role in the liberation of the Congo from the colonial yoke. Shortly afterwards, he was betrayed by those close to him, overthrown and summarily executed in Katanga on the January 17, 1961. Even though we know about many of those who orchestrated his death, there remain many unanswered questions. Where exactly did this massacre take place? Who was present? On whose orders? Who is to blame? Sven Augustijnen takes these shady questions that haunt Belgium as much as the Congo as the starting point of his enquiries: using facts, their contemporary echoes and what has been brushed over as "historical fact". His guide is an elusive character of noble birth - Jacques Brassinne de la Buissière, who was working in the Congo as a high-ranking civil servant at the time. Author of a biography of Lumumba, this man spent many years carrying out research into the history of this period. The film-maker goes with him to meet witnesses and protagonists. Between factual truth, the strength of conviction in the words of some and the possible duplicity of others, between Belgium and the Congo, the camera opens up a wide angle. It scrutinizes the surroundings, observes the gestures and glances, diving into the uncertain layers of truth, revealing the minutiae of the witness accounts. Paced with extracts from Jean-Sebastian Bach's Passion, powerful elegiac breaths of fresh air that recall the Congolese martyr. Spectres invents new form of investigation which assumes the right to question not just History - both its living players and phantom witnesses - but also how it is recorded, restoring to all both their bodies and their terrible night to the point of opacity.
Nicolas Feodoroff (FIDMARSEILLE 2011)

Director: Sven Augustijnen

Has recently been on display at the following locations:
Filmer à Tout Prix (Flagey) Brussel (BE), Sunday, Nov 13, 2011 - 12:00
Documentaire sur Grand Ecran Paris (FR), Sunday, Nov 6, 2011 - 18:30
STUK Leuven (BE), Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 - 20:00
Vrijstaat O Oostende (BE), Friday, Oct 28, 2011
Cinema Zuid Antwerpen (BE), Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011
STUK Leuven (BE), Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011 - 22:30
International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava (CZ), Oct 25-30, 2011
Viennale Vienna (AT), Oct 25-27, 2011
STUK Leuven (BE), Monday, Oct 24, 2011 - 20:00
Galerie Villa des Tourelles Nanterre (FR), Saturday, Oct 22, 2011
Ciné 104 Pantin (FR), Thursday, Oct 20, 2011
Videofid Marseille (FR), Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011
Centre Pompidou Paris (FR), Monday, Oct 17, 2011
Festival International du Film de La Roche sur Yon (FR), Oct 13-18, 2011
OCA Oslo (NO), Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011
Kinok Sankt-Gallen (CH), Thursday, Sep 8, 2011 - 17:30
Buda Kortrijk (BE), Thursday, Sep 8, 2011
Kinok Sankt-Gallen (CH), Sunday, Aug 28, 2011 - 20:00
Etats Generaux du Documentaire Lussas (FR), Thursday, Aug 25, 2011 - 10:15
Kinok Sankt-Gallen (CH), Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 - 20:30
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH), Aug 12 - Oct 9, 2011
Arenberg Brussel (BE), Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 - 14:00
Arenberg Brussel (BE), Friday, Jul 22, 2011 - 21:10
Arenberg Brussel (BE), Monday, Jul 18, 2011 - 14:00
Arenberg Brussel (BE), Friday, Jul 15, 2011 - 19:00
FID Marseille (FR), Jul 8-9, 2011
Cinema Rits, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels (BE), Friday, May 27, 2011 - 19:00
Cinema Rits, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussel (BE), Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 15:00
Wiels Brussel (BE), Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 11:00
Cinema Rits, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels (BE), Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 19:00
Wiels Brussel (BE), May 8 - Jul 31, 2011
KVS, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels (BE), Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 15:00
Wiels Brussel (BE), Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 11:00
KVS, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels (BE), Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 20:00

2011 | FIDMARSEILLE 2011
* Special Mention for the International Competition Grand Prix,
* Public Libraries Prize, GNCR prize
* World premiere



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