In Pursuit of Truth

18 Jul 2021 – 5 Sep 2021 | GOMA | Cinema A

In Pursuit of Truth delves into the slippery relationship that we have with the truth. In response to this current climate of post-truth, and with it the uneasy relationships we have developed with the media and each other, this program explores the ways truth and fiction are blurred in filmmaking. In Pursuit of Truth examines authorship and authenticity by highlighting filmmakers who tell their own story, the recent movement in documentary filmmaking that includes fictional elements within documentary to arrive at a more ‘truthful’ method of storytelling, alongside feature filmmakers who harness real stories and real people playing themselves to create a vivid authenticity within fictional film.

Program curated by Rosie Hays, Australian Cinémathèque.

Blurred lines – Feature Films

Feature films that incorporate documentary elements into their storytelling. These films feature non-actors who play themselves, stories taken from real life or reference the process of making a film.

  • The Company of Strangers 1990 (101 mins) / Dir: Cynthia Scott
  • Zire darakhatan zeyton (Through the Olive Trees) 1994 (103 mins) / Dir: Abbas Kiarostami
  • The Watermelon Woman 1996 (90 mins) / Dir: Cheryl Dunye
  • ดอกฟ้าในมือมาร (Mysterious Object at Noon) 2000 (89 mins) / Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethkul
  • Juventude em Marcha (Colossal Youth) 2006 (156 mins) / Dir: Pedro Costa
  • La Bocca del Lupo (The Mouth of the Wolf) 2009 (68 mins) / Dir:  Pietro Marcello
  • Taxi Tehran 2015 (76 mins) / Dir: Jafar Panahi
  • Skate Kitchen 2018 (106 mins) / Dir: Crystal Moselle
  • Nomadland 2020 (107 mins) / Dir: Chloé Zhao

Blurred lines - Documentary

A selection of documentary films that experiment with the traditional documentary format. These films blend truth and fictional elements, recreating events with actors that are not possible to film, ask their subjects to relive their past and comment on the limitations of the documentary form when capturing the most authentic representation of reality.

  • The Arbor 2010 (90 mins) / Dir: Clio Barnard
  • The Act of Killing 2012 (159 mins) / Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn
  • The Look of Silence 2014 (103 mins) / Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer
  • Stranger in Paradise 2016 (72 mins) / Dir: Guido Hendrikx
  • Kate Plays Christine 2016 (112 mins) / Dir: Robert Greene
  • Demonic 2018 (28 mins) / Dir: Pia Borg

Lies and Public Life

An examination of humanity’s drive to play with the truth for personal gain, these documentaries reference a history of falsehoods, the current uncertainty of post-truth, the shaky ground we find ourselves on due to fake news and showcase journalists who report the facts in the face of incredible danger.

  • Merchants of Doubt 2014 (96 mins) / Dir: Robert Kenner
  • The Trial 2018 (129 mins) / Dir: Sergei Loznitsa
  • The Cleaners 2018 (88 mins) / Dirs: Moritz Riesewieck, Hans Block
  • Where’s My Roy Cohn 2019 (97 mins) / Dir: Matt Tyrnauer
  • Enemies of the State 2020 (103 mins) / Dir: Sonia Kennebeck
  • A Thousand Cuts 2020 (99 mins) / Dir: Ramona S. Diaz
  • All Light Everywhere 2021 (109 mins) / Dir: Theo Anthony

Authorship and Authenticity

The crafting of truth lies in the words of the storyteller. These films discuss the ways in which the representation of identity and the retelling of the history is subjective, they celebrate the power of speaking your own truth and the multiple ways in which it can be contorted.

  • F for Fake 1975 (88 mins) / Dir: Orson Welles
  • I’m Not There 2007 (135 mins) / Dir: Todd Haynes
  • Stories We Tell 2012 (108 mins) / Dir: Sarah Polley
  • Don’t Be Nice 2018 (95 mins) / Dir: Max Powers

QAGOMA acknowledges the generous assistance of the the Cineteca di Bologna in providing materials for this program.