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Printed Matter

Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat

16mm & HD video, color, 4:3, mono & stereo sound, BE, 2011, 29’

Printed Matter displays the conflation of private lives and contemporary geopolitics. The evidence comes from Brutmann’s father, André, who was, up to his untimely death in 2002, a freelance press photographer covering two decades of Middle East news for local newspapers as well as for International, mostly European, print media. His voluminous collection offers a visual chronicle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that consists of surprisingly familiar images of civil dissent, armed violence, funeral grief and political speeching in both Israel and the Occupied Territories. After becoming a dad in 1983 and finishing a day of work, with a few pictures left on the film role in his camera, this professional media worker would regularly photograph his daughter and wife, later a family of four. Printed Matter simply shows an exquisite selection of contact sheets including memorable events such as the First and Second Intifada, the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin and the birth of Sirah Foighel Brutmann. Instead of using formatted captions, the filmmakers choose for the impromptu voice comment by the first witness to these histories: Hanne Foighel, André’s partner and freelance journalist, reminisces on the past while browsing through its records and getting her memory triggered. As if it were a fragile time capsule steered by her provident off-screen voice, Printed Matter takes its viewers on a still yet penetrating excursion into the intimacies of political history and the politics of intimate lives.

At Images (CA) it won the Marian McMahon Award 2012. Quoting from the jury statement: “This is a film that combines history and autobiography as they meet in a backstage record of a conflict between Israel as a nation and the struggle of the Palestinian people for nationhood. Layers of inevitable ambivalence towards these issues – as well an ambivalence between daughter and mother, wife and husband – inform our viewing, one after the other, the contact sheets of the late Andre Brutmann, photographer and father of the filmmaker. What we see in Printed Matter is the making of history through visuality. From an accidental or circumstantial beginning, the professionalization of the photographer goes hand in hand with the hardening of the political situation as expressed through the mother’s account of her everyday war experiences. What the film leaves us with is a living question of who becomes the chronicler of history.”

Cinematographer Sébastien Koeppel
Editing Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat
Final sound editing & mixing Laszlo Umbreit
Sound assistance Christian Coppin at Atelier Graphoui
Production assistant & credits Fairuz
Produced by Auguste Orts
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, STUK Leuven, LUCA School of Arts, The Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam & Atelier Graphoui

Printed Matter has been on display at the following locations:

Cinema Aventure Brussels, (BE) Monday, Sep 24 2018 Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg Hamburg, (DE) Jun 8–Nov 25 2018 centre d’art contemporain Delme, (FR) Saturday, Mar 31 2018 Portikus Frankfurt, (DE) Apr 29–Jun 11 2017 Het Bos Antwerpen, (BE) Saturday, Feb 18 2017 topkino Vienna, (AT) Saturday, Apr 30 2016 Kino MM, Student Center Zagreb, (HR) Thursday, Apr 28 2016 Gallery of Musrara Jerusalem, (IL) Mar 15–May 10 2016 Rundlauf Festival Bochum, (DE) Saturday, Jun 13 2015 Arts Santa Monica Barcelona, (ES) May 12–Jun 22 2015 Art Cologne Cologne, (DE) Apr 16–Apr 19 2015 Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, (BE) Feb 14–Apr 26 2015 Cinematek Brussel, (BE) Wednesday, Nov 26 2014 Cinematek Brussel, (BE) Monday, Nov 24 2014 Cinematek Brussel, (BE) Thursday, Nov 20 2014 CPH:DOX Copenhagen, (DK) Nov 6–Nov 16 2014 Jeu de Paume Paris, (FR) Oct 14 2014–Feb 8 2015 Argos Brussel, (BE) Sep 14–Oct 26 2014 Labo / MAAC Brussel, (BE) Saturday, May 3 2014 Beursschouwburg Brussels, (BE) Thursday, Oct 24 2013 The Flaherty New York, (US) Jun 15–Jun 21 2013 Kunsthalle Basel, (CH) Apr 7–Jun 2 2013 International Experimental Film Festival Bucharest, (RO) Nov 20–Nov 25 2012 exground filmfest Wiesbaden, (DE) Nov 16–Nov 25 2012 Foam, Westergasfabriek Amsterdam, (NL) Sep 21–Sep 23 2012 New Horizons International Film Festival Wroclaw, (PL) Jul 19–Jul 29 2012 Kino.Lab Poznan, (PL) Thursday, Jun 21 2012 Kino.Lab Krakow, (PL) Monday, Jun 4 2012 SoundImageCulture Brussel, (BE) Wednesday, May 30 2012 Kino.Lab Torun, (PL) Sunday, May 27 2012 Kino.Lab Warschaw, (PL) Friday, May 25 2012 Jewish film festival Copenhagen, (DK) Sunday, May 20 2012 Kino.Lab Gdansk, (PL) Saturday, May 19 2012 STUK Leuven, (BE) Apr 17–Jun 1 2012 Images Festival Toronto, (CA) Apr 12–Apr 21 2012 Courtisane festival Gent, (BE) Mar 21–Mar 25 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam, (NL) Jan 26–Jan 30 2012 IDFA Amsterdam, (NL) Nov 16–Nov 27 2011 Underdox Munich, (DE) Sep 30–Oct 5 2011 KASKcinema Gent, (BE) Wednesday, Sep 28 2011 Bozar Brussel, (BE) Friday, Sep 23 2011 Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, (NL) Jul 6–Jul 10 2011 Filmmuseum Amsterdam, (NL) Friday, Jul 1 2011