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Nov 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Nicolas Boone: Psalm and Hillbrow

With Nicolas Boone.

At this event two of Nicolas Boone’s most recent works, Psalm (2015) and Hillbrow (2014) will be screened.




48 min., 2015

In a near future, the villages of a Sub-Saharan area have all been deserted. Mad and disabled people as well as child soldiers are the only ones who remain on those dry lands. In this survival atmosphere, relationships are harsh.

In Psalm, the location is not specified apart from contemporary indicators of sub-Saharan Africa. At the start, from the white background of the screen and as if emerging from an earthy dust, a small cart pulled by a donkey accompanied by ghostly figures arrives at a well. Drinking, fussing with a can, is their first action and it is slow, long, necessary and primordial. Then they leave. From one scene to the next, the obviousness of which is imposed each time by a long sequence shot enveloping space that is both ample and fluid, a post-apocalyptic landscape is drawn, the colours faded, without sunshine.

The Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP: National Centre for the Visual arts) prize, created in 2015 in partnership with the FID Marseille, seeks to reward a producer for a work arising from the area where fiction and documentary meet and mingle. Basma Alsharif, after a week of screenings and discussions with the five members of the panel of judges of the French competition, decided to make the award to a film which is neither easy nor affirmative. It is a film that does not belong to any genre – a film that  snatches us up into its world and holds us captive, long after the closing credits. It is a work of cinema that takes risks by adopting a radical position in relation to its subjects, that leaves us speechless, or even in a state of shock. By making a fierce attack upon representation, this film forces to confront our own selves.


32 min., 2014

Hillbrow, Johannesburg’s oldest and trendiest cultural attraction, has now developed into a densely populated and rather violent working-class neighborhood. The movie Hillbrow offers a selection of local stories that cross over geographical boundaries and whose fictional characters are portrayed by inhabitants presently living in the neighborhood. In ten journeys, Hillbrow draws a labyrinth of urban tensions.

Nicolas Boone dissects the violent neighborhood of Hillbrow, in Johannesburg, through a series of episodes drawn from real life stories. A man stands in the ledge of a high building, looking down. Another man gets attacked on the streets. Violence is seen as a force of rupture on this urban panorama.

84 min

Just graduated from Les Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2001, Nicolas Boone directed shootings/performances, “films for once” without any recording system: his work constantly stands between direction and video recording –when, sometimes, the “simple” act of shooting makes the film itself. His work takes various forms: series (BUP, 2007/2008), feature film (codirected with Olivier Bosson: 200%, 2013), short films –sometimes gathered together to compose a whole program (Les Dépossédés, 2012).

In 2011, The Vivo Art Center, in Vancouver, presented a complete retrospective of Nicolas Boone’s work. His films were selected in many international film festivals, and often awarded, such as Bailu Dream (2013; shown in IFFRotterdam, in IndiesLisoa and in IFFJeonju this year) and Hillbrow (2014), selected in FID Marseille (France), the IFF Indies in Sao Paulo (Brazil), the IFF in Clermont-Ferrand (France), the IFF Entrevue in Belfort (France), where it received 3 awards (Audience, One+One and Camira Prizes), the Festival du Nouveau Cinema/FNC in Montreal (Canada), where it received the grand prize (Loup argenté). In France, it also received the Grand Prize “Scribe du cinema” in 2014. In 2015, Nicolas Boone directed Psalm, shot in Senegal (FID Marseille, French competition, Prizes of the CNAP/National Center of Art and of the High School Students).


Nov 22, 2015
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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