All the Shades of One Long Night

  • Jul 8 - Jul 9, 2023
  • german english 70 mins
  • Director | Judith Zdesar
  • Writer | Judith Zdesar
  • Producer | Judith Zdesar

From someone who moved away to learn about fear. The flight in the dark to Greenland begins with a farewell to the sun, which glows as a red ball in the cabin window. Upon arrival, camera and microphone have to battle the ice-cold wind. Only fragments of bundled-up figures that have somehow gotten into the circle of light can be discerned; no colors. Nothingness begins in the blackness right next to the flashlight’s beam. Dominating inside, in the island of warmth, are yellow, red, and flesh tones—colors with a high color temperature. Isolation seems to have dissolved here in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Experiences are exchanged, instructions given. The darkness and cold are not only geographical, meteorological, and physical phenomenon—qualities related to the light waves (on film material)—but deeply rooted atavistic ones. Darkness is hostile to life; unpredictable, associated with existential angst and death.

Once again, Judith Zdesar is not concerned with the documentary portrait of a place and the people that live there, just as her film Bilder aus dem Tagebuch eines Wartenden (Images from a Diary of Waiting, 2007) was not about the documentation of young recruits, but rather, about showing their extreme boredom, which they could deal with only through absurd interventions. The present film presents a self experiment in which fear, loneliness, and exposure to a foreign context are explored in a cinematic diary. Eyes, one’s own and the lens of the camera, gradually adjust to the darkness. It gets lighter in the end. Nuances of gray, blue, and sometimes a fragile pink begin to shimmer from the shapeless void. But polar bears and the unspeakable continue to threaten in the night. One is meant to take care when the dogs bark; but when the dogs always bark? (Birgit Flos)