A film by James Benning. No dialogue.

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

Without the title, it would be hard to place the first shots, asi­de from their posi­ti­on in the year. We start in January and end in December, with around five minu­tes dedi­ca­ted to each month. A lonely tree befo­re a win­ter sky, modern woo­den hou­ses and a plain brick hotel from the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, pas­sing trains heard befo­re seen: this could be any small American town, which it is and it isn’t; there’s enough time and space for con­tem­pla­ti­on of both. Founded in 1908, Allensworth was the first muni­ci­pa­li­ty in California to be gover­ned by African-Americans. As we pass through the year and around the sett­le­ment, ele­ments of this spe­ci­fic heri­ta­ge also begin to accu­mu­la­te: “Blackbird” by Nina Simone, “In the Pines” sung by Huddie Ledbetter, Lucille Clifton poems read out by a litt­le girl direct to came­ra. But the­se are just echo­es in a place that is now a muse­um, a space for reflec­tion that the film maps out, frag­ments and ampli­fies as only cine­ma can, a place to think about what was, like the gra­vey­ard shown in the final shot. But remem­be­ring the past is also remem­be­ring that not all pas­ts are equal, and that’s whe­re dura­ti­on comes into play. Time still needs to be taken.


US 2022, 65 Min., ohne Dialog

Regie: James Benning

ALLENSWORTH” | Trailer | Berlinale 2023
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