Society of Cinema presents: Memories Ablaze Film Screenings + Talk

Society of Cinema presents: Memories Ablaze Film Screenings + Talk




16:14 – 16:14


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Wednesday November 30th and December 14th, 2022

From 18:00 to 20:00

Join us for the upcoming Society of Cinema series of screenings. This winter our program ranges between essay films and hybrid fiction exploring archival histories, ancestral consciousness, and multi-generational experiences; connecting personal and collective narratives. The six films consider history, nature, technology, and corporeality through diasporic viewpoints.

Wednesday November 30th, 2022
From 18:00 to 20:00
Letter from your Far-Off Country (2020), Suneil Sanzgiri
Tellurian Drama (2021), Riar Rizaldi
Curupira and the machine of destiny (2021), Janaina Wagner

Wednesday December 14th, 2022
Screenings & conversation with Azar Sayiar
From 18:00 to 20:00
When Light is Displaced (2021), Zaina Bseiso
The Score (2021), Aleksandra Bilic
History Bleeds Under Your Fingernails (2016), Azar Saiyar
Followed by a conversation with Azar Sayiar

The conversation will be held in English.
All films are subtitled in English.

The screenings are curated and hosted by Danai Anagnostou.

About the films:

Letter from your Far-Off Country by Suneil Sanzgiri
Year of Production: 2020
Running Time: 18’

Shot with 16mm film stock that expired in 2002—the same year as the state-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat—and filmed amid the anti-CAA protests in Delhi, the filmmaker traces lines and lineages of ancestral memory, poetry, history, songs, and ruins from his birth in 1989.

A search for solidarity in the sounds and colors of the spontaneous Muslim women led Shaheen Bagh movement in Delhi, in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, the song of Iqbal Bano, the theater of Safdar Hashmi, and images of B. R. Ambedkar—the radical anti-caste Dalit intellectual and founder of the Indian constitution—all surrounding a letter addressed to the filmmaker’s distant relative Prabhakar Sanzgiri, who wrote biographies of Ambedkar and was a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader in Maharashtra.

Letter From Your Far-off Country is the second film in a series of new works addressing ancestral memory, diaspora, history, decoloniality, and cross-continental solidarity. These themes, which run recurrently, think through a series of questions, reflections, and intimations of how we live through moments of trauma, violence, and revolt.

Tellurian Drama by Riar Rizaldi
Year of Production: 2020
Running Time: 26’23”

May 5th, 1923. The Dutch East Indies government celebrated the opening of a new radio station in West Java. It was called Radio Malabar. In March 2020, the local Indonesian government plans to reactivate the station as a historical site and tourist attraction. Tellurian Drama imagines what would have happened in between: the vital role of mountain in history; colonial ruins as an apparatus for geoengineering technology; and the invisible power of indigenous ancestors. Narrated based on the forgotten text written by a prominent pseudo-anthropologist Drs. Munarwan, Tellurian Drama problematizes the notion of decolonisation, geocentric technology, and historicity of communication.

Curupira E A Máquina Do Destino by Janaina Wagner
Year of Production: 2021
Running Time: 25’
Brazil/ France

Filmed in 2021 on the roads Transamazônica, BR-319 and the real village of Realidade, in the south of Amazonia, Curupira e a máquina do destino is the encounter between the entity Curupira, a queer devil who protects the forests of Brazil, and the incarnated ghost of Iracema, a 14-year-old prostitute.

When Light is Displaced by Zaina Bseiso
Year of Production: 2021
Running Time: 7’
Palestine/ USA

Interested in its parallels with the fate of the Jaffa oranges, the filmmaker tells her father about her intention to film the last orange grove in Los Angeles. Their disagreement transforms the grove into a space of contemplation on the politics of storytelling in the multi generational experience of Palestine in exile.

The Score by Aleksandra Bilic
Year of Production: 2022
Running Time: 25’

In 1992, Maja Bilić and her children fled their home in Sarajevo on what would turn out to be the last flight to Britain from the former Yugoslavia, escaping the violence of the Bosnian War. Among the possessions she left behind was the prized piano she’d cherished since childhood. 30 years later, her daughter Aleksandra—now a filmmaker, writer and producer—has revisited her mother’s complex relationship with both her instrument and her lost home short film “The Score.”

History Bleeds Under Your Fingernails by Azar Saiyar
Year of Production: 2016
Running Time:7’

“ We say ignorance is bliss. And you want to ask – to whom.“

We used to believe that being left-handed could lead to criminality, stupidity, and immoral behaviour. So we tried to educate our children not to use that hand. History bleeds under your fingernails is a short film piece on the history of taming the left hand and on the culture of educating the bodies that do not fit.


Danai Anagnostou is a creative producer for film and artist moving images; and a doctoral researcher in production studies. In 2019, she co-founded Kenno Filmi, a production company in Helsinki which hosts projects by international filmmakers, researchers, and artists. Her work is shaped through the participatory, interdisciplinary, and intersectional production practices that stem from the collaborative aspects of filmmaking. In ad​​dition to her practice, she studies contemporary conducts and strategies for producing films; and works on her doctoral thesis undertaken at Aalto University in Finland with the support of Kone Foundation.

Azar Saiyar is Helsinki-based filmmaker and visual artist whose art has been shown at film and media art festivals, galleries, exhibitions, museums and from television. She often uses archive materials and plays with images and words of collective memory to look towards the ways of looking, speaking, remembering and telling stories.

Zaina Bseiso is a filmmaker and curator working primarily in documentary and experimental cinema. Her interests revolve around diasporic relations to land, hope and potentialities. She explores Return as a notion that conflates and contracts sounds, images and ways of existing in the world. Recently, she joined the programming team at the Points North Institute/Camden International Film Festival. She is also a 2022 Sundance Humanities Sustainability fellow. Her work has screened at Curtas Vila do Conde, Guanajuato, RIDM, DokLeipzig and Ajyal Film Festival, among others.

Aleksandra Bilic is Head of Development at My Accomplice and is a producer specialising in documentary films. Recent credits include The Great Hack (Netflix), 8 Barv – The Evolution of Grime (BBC Films), and Nascondino (BFI/Doc Society) which premiered at LFF in the Grierson Documentary Competition and is set for a 2022 release. She currently has one feature film in late development with the BFI, and a slate of work focusing on female led talent and looking to move into drama series. She is an alumni of Sheffield Future Producers 2017 and Film Independent DocLab 2021.

Janaina Wagner (São Paulo, Brazil) works with cinema, photography, scenography, drawing, video and installations, researching the relations of limit, control and contention that human-kind establishes with the world. Currently on a PhD at Le Fresnoy-Studio National des Arts Contemporains (FR), Wagner participated in several artistic residencies, such as Gasworks (EN), FID Campus – Festival International de Cinéma de Marseille (FR), Bolsa Pampulha (BR), Festival Mondes Possibles – Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers (FR), Casa Tomada (BR), W139 (NL) and NES Skagaströnd (IS). Janaina lives and works between Paris and São Paulo.

Riar Rizaldi works as an artist and filmmaker. He works predominantly with the medium of moving images and sound, both in the black-box of cinema settings as well spatial presentation as installation. His artistic practice focuses mostly on the relationship between capital and technology, labour and nature, worldviews, genre cinema, and the possibility of theoretical fiction. His works have been shown at various international film festivals (including Locarno, IFFR, Viennale, BFI London, Cinema du Reel, Vancouver, etc) as well as NTT InterCommunication Center Tokyo, Centre Pompidou Paris, Times Museum Guangzhou, Istanbul Biennial, Biennale Jogja, and National Gallery of Indonesia amongst others.

Suneil Sanzgiri is an artist, researcher, and filmmaker. His work spans experimental video and film, animations, essays, and installations, and contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture and diaspora in relation to structural violence. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology in 2017. Sanzgiri’s work has been screened extensively at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Fest, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Doc Lisboa, Viennale, e-Flux, REDCAT, the Menil Collection, the Block Museum, and the Criterion Collection, and has won awards at BlackStar Film Fest, Open City Docs Fest, and more.

Wed 14 Dec 2022 Closed today


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Keinulaudankuja 4 E, 00940 Helsinki