e-flux Video & Film: staff picks
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e-flux Video & Film: staff picks

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Kamal Aljafari, Port of Memory (clip), 2010.

August 31, 2021
e-flux Video & Film: staff picks
Kamal Aljafari, Port of Memory (2010)
September 1–30, 2021
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e-flux Video & Film is very pleased to present our September staff pick: Kamal Aljafari’s feature-length film Port of Memory (2010), streaming from Wednesday, September 1 through Thursday, September 30, 2021.

Today is also the last day to view August’s staff pick, featuring three shorts by Sid Iandovka and Anya Tsyrlina.

Kamal Aljafari, Port of Memory, 2010
63 minutes

Once a thriving Palestinian port city, Jaffa has now become an extension of Tel Aviv. It often served as the backdrop for action films set in the Middle East, featuring the likes of Chuck Norris. Aljafari offers a subtle portrait and memoir of a disappearing city that has been changed forever by incessant construction, gentrification, and dispossession of its inhabitants. It quietly traces the streets of Jaffa and follows the rhythms of life of the city and its people, centered around mundane rituals and occurrences that instil a sense of normalcy. We find a cat napping lazily on the television set, an elderly parent being taken care of, a family watching TV, and hands being washed repetitively. Against this seemingly still décor, the filmmaker’s family are at risk of eviction if they cannot prove their ownership of their house.

“...this is a work that can only be seen, not talked about; all that can be said is that it brings cinema to a place beyond the question of fiction, documentary and video art. Not only that; it does so as if no camera were there, or there were a camera without a man—the invisibility here is of film itself.” (Sight & Sound magazine, London)

Watch Port of Memory here.

About the artist 
Kamal Aljafari works with moving and still images, interweaving fiction, non-fiction, and contemporary art. His debut feature The Roof (2006) was followed by Port of Memory (2009), which was awarded the Prix Louis-Marcorelles at Cinéma du Réel. In 2015 he directed Recollection, in which actors are removed from the foreground of films shot in Jaffa in order to narrate a vanished city. It premiered in Locarno and was followed by An Unusual Summer (2020), which was created from surveillance camera material recorded by his father, and premiered in Visions du Réel. Aljafari was a featured artist at the 2009 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in New York. He has also taught at The New School in New York, and at the DFFB in Berlin. His work has been shown worldwide in film festivals such as the Berlinale, Viennale, Images, and Rotterdam, and in museums such as the MoMA, New York and Tate Modern, London.

About the series 
e-flux Video & Film: staff picks is a monthly streaming series of staff picks and recommended videos designed to disrupt the monotony of an algorithm. Before the end times of big data, we used to discover suggested content along dusty shelves in video rental stores, where Post-it notes scribbled by shift workers implored us to experience the same movies that made them guffaw, scream, or weep. Sometimes the content bored us, sometimes it overwhelmed us, and sometimes, as if by magic, it was just right. e-flux invites you to relive this rental store mode of perusal, with personalized picks curated through judgment that does not take into consideration your viewing history. 

For more information, contact program [​at​] e-flux.com.

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August 31, 2021

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