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Rio x Magnum Film Festival: Refocusing the Lens: From the Centre to the Margins

The renowned photography agency’s first UK film festival in collaboration with Rio Cinema proposes an interrogation of its photojournalistic archives via film and a series of critical discussions.


The camera as an agent of history

This stand aims to critically examine the role of the camera in the making and writing of history through an exploration of the notion of iconic images, the ever-growing use of photojournalism from past to present and the relationship between the archive and reality.

The two films in dialogue directed by Clare Beavan and Ariella Aisha Azoulay explore the questions of who holds the power to represent an subject or anevent and who is able to shape history.

Decisive Moments: The Photographs That Made History, Part 1 (Claire Beavan, 1997, 50m, 18)

a BBC documentary looking at some of the early photojournalists and their photographs, particularly the world of American tabloids in the 1920s where photographers would do anything to get a picture.

The film The Angel of History (2000, 70m, 15)

by photography theorist Ariella Aisha Azoulay deals with the troubling presence of unsolved past events in actual and imagined realities.

It takes place in various public and private arenas like the artist's studio, the arena of murder, the photographic frame, the museum, the body or the cemetery.

The Angel of History offers new perspectives for understanding the complex relationswhich are spun around the museal space. The movie probes beyond the standard and limited museal relationships between artist and work or viewer andwork, exposing the fragile, troubled and intimate relations between the various protagonists who participate in the becoming-public of the work of art.

With thanks to the BFI National TV Archive  

This event is part of Film Feels Curious, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.

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