New Shorts Documentary: The Promise of Happiness?
Friday, 21 January 2022
Image: You Are Here, Olivia Kamieniecka, Aliyah Ahmed, 2021
Emerging from a programme presenting films of collective joy, lost futures, and repaired pasts, these films reveal that the instability of happiness. A deliberately intergenerational selection, we see fluctuations in expressions of potentiality and merriment at various stages in life, in recognition of how much pleasure in life can rely on the possibilities we are afforded from the outset, the places we live and the people we have around us. From queer clubs to bingo halls, by way of psychic readings and the ecstatic outcomes of divorce, the promise of happiness and its lasting potential come into question in these films.
CW: mention of domestic abuse
Curated by Miranda Mungai
Son of Sodom
Can Merdan Doğan
In August 2017, the filmmaker chose Camilo Najar, known as Son of Sodom in the social networks, to be the main character of their first feature film. That casting delved around his life, his sexuality, the future he saw for himself and drugs. A week later, aged 21, he died from a heroin overdose. Who was Son of Sodom?
Shot during the global pandemic SLIP LIVING questions the internal world we create for ourselves in isolation vs the reality of life lived in lockdowns Artificial Void.
Expressed through sound, dance, visual art and spoken word. Each performer we interact with is completely isolated but free to act creatively in an abandoned city. Coming to their own conclusions through unique journeys captured on digital and 16mm film.
A Love Letter to the Basement
A Love Letter to the Basement celebrates The Chateau, an underground DIY LGBTIQA+ bar, cultural space and performance collective in South East London. What began as a three month pop-up in 2018, stretched to two years of queer performance and expression, in an ex-religious themed cocktail bar underneath Camberwell Church Street SE5. The film was built on the memories of those who experienced it. Through voiceover, archival footage and photography of the many nights at The Chateau, the film shows us what the space embodied and how it housed the queer community of South East London.
Every day, on the top floor of an iconic 1960’s shopping centre near the heart of the city, hundreds of regulars take up their usual spots in the London Palace Bingo Club. Some come for the cheap dinners and the free tea and coffee, many stay to relax, socialise, play bingo, dominoes, gossip, and party together.
The Palace film is a loud, emotional portrait of a unique community rooted in South London saying goodbye to their social hub and playground of the past 20 years. Told through the stories of the regulars that loved it, and the owner who couldn’t save it.