ANNA MARZIANO

[00]

— Here below a few scattered notes I wrote in Bangalore (India), where I was filming the very first rushes of Beyond the One. It was Autumn 2014. Seems so long ago.

# A filtered coffee, blue walls and men only. The town all around. (I had no way to control where the rickshaw was driving me on the way here). How to compose my camera in this vast dimension? How to compose this vast dimension through the camera? Not psychology nor sociology nor “representation” of India. Only these close and closest things. I can only work there where I happen to live (for a while long enough). Now, in Malleswaram.

# Filming for the first time out of Europe. Why would I be allowed to hold a camera here? Jean Rouch went to Mozambico, gave cameras to young people and encouraged them to invent each one’s cinema, each one’s reality. (Was I allowed to film in France having grown up in Italy, or in Abruzzo having grown up in Padova? Identities blurring at every corner. Was I allowed to film with people I don’t share the same addictions with? With my own friends and family being other than me? No chance not to end up being “nombriliste” at this rate). I take the risk. Humani nihil a me alienum puto. I care so I can perhaps live and film through all these differences. The film can perhaps create something that breaks through the existing ones and becomes pertinent to them all.

# Nor individualistic nor holistic: substance as multitude. But in this multitude, the very same mechanism that creates social solidarity also supports the explosive spread of violence. How to include these emotions and transform them? So tiring and yet! “Someone has to clean up”, as the poem of W. Szymborska goes. Someone has to reinvent bridges. To take care of feeding. Microscopically, tenaciously. No absence of conflict is possible nor violence for ideal purposes is wished, but constant negotiations. “Photogenic it’s not, and takes years. All the cameras have left, for another war”.

# I get barefoot in the middle of the street. For 20 rupees I leave my shoes to the shoes-keeper nearby. 20 mt on the public pavement and I enter the Sai Baba temple in Sampige Road. Anu says: basically be humble. We wash our feet and hands. We walk around the Sai Baba’s statue one time. When you turn around the God you are much closer to him than standing in front of it. The impossibility of a direct sight/contact. (The direct defeat of Icarus). The need of a medium, like a circle or a mirror. (The indirect victory of Perseus on Medusa). Turning around. Aesthetically fascinated by the temple’s structure and rituals. I seat among other people on the floor. Their deferent expression breaks my amazement. The radical example of one man turned not into a source of singular inspiration but into a system. At the same time, how I can deeply understand this need. See Gregory Bateson’s pages on the philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous and the necessity of abandoning the idea of individual strength to overcome the addiction. The myth of autonomy is indeed broken.

# Since I left Italy, I’ve been living in different places, being a foreigner in all other languages I attempted to speak. It was painful and lucky to unlearn the idea of a perfect language, to peel off its power. Still my amazement towards words remains intact. Which way out then? I tried to compose a film through the others’ languages. I tried to break the self by composing with the others’ words.

# Not metaphors but contiguity.

# The fact is holding a camera in our hands does not give us any extra right than without it, in spite of many harmful examples. So the word “love” does not give us any extra right on the people we call companions.

# Not to smoke in public! Not to kiss in public! Not to eat in public while walking! Not to drink alcohol in the streets! Finally the owner of the alcohol shop around the corner murmurs hello when I go get myself some whisky. He wraps the small bottles in black plastic bags.

Anna Marziano was born in 1982, in Italy. She has been based in Berlin since 2012. Her films have been screened internationally as festivals such as, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Torino International Film Festival, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, MediaCity Film Festival Detroit, FRAC.