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of FATMI Mounir

FRANCE, 2017, 00:11:35

Production : FATMI Mounir
Genre : Video art

Summary :

 When mounir fatmi was growing up in Tangier in the 1970s, one of the few cultural objects in his house was a black and white photo of King Mohammed V, also known to Moroccans as the “moon king.” For a long time, he thought this person in the photograph was part of his family and it was only until he went to school when he learned otherwise, including the legendary story around the king’s rise to power.

In 1955 Moroccans underwent a “collective hallucination,” as fatmi says, in which they believed to see the face of their future king, Mohammed V, on the moon. In fact, Moroccan nationalists, who were actively working to eject France from the country after years of colonization, generated what would today be called a public relations stunt, asking people to look at a photo of the king and then stare up at the moon. This created an optical effect that made it seem like they were actually seeing his face on the moon, thereby building a myth around him that helped fuel a movement to bring him to power. At the time he was exiled in Madagascar and unaware of the events going on at home, but the populist movement succeeded and he soon returned to be king.

Inspired by this story, as well as by the classic, silent film, “Travel to the Moon,” by the French director Georges Méliès, fatmi created an experimental film titled, “Across the Moon.” Part science fiction, part homage to film history, this short black and white film fuses images of the moon with the face of the king, along with archival images from the time when King Mohammed first took power and from his funeral decades later. All of this swirling imagery is set to an eerie soundtrack that takes the viewer on a surreal journey.

In today’s ultra branded and over-produced culture whether its pop stars or political figures, the public undergoes a daily subterfuge of public relations campaigns, re-branding, and second chances of wanna be celebrities, making this unbelievable story of public imagination all the more incredible. The story seems to reflect an innocence as much as manipulation, with the people having faith in what they “see” while also likely wanting to believe in something bigger than them, something hopeful, and there is real power to that hope.

puce to print

Original language : french
Original format : HD Video
Aspect ratio : HD – 1920X1080
Chroma : Couleur - Noir&Blanc
Available version(s) : Version française et Version anglaise

rental : 120 euros

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