by ALEXANDER MARKOV

OUR AFRICA (2018)

Synopsis

The year is 1960; the Soviets arrive on the African continent with the hope of building socialism right after a series of episodes named ‘The Colonialists Leave’. The striking puppetry of documentary characters is largely achieved through sound accentuation, hatching with voiceover. ‘The Soviets Arrive’ to teach mechanical existence, to teach its own internal structure, its own vocabulary of Soviet reports. Seriality is ironic; from a sculpture, Lenin becomes a painting, and from a painting he turned into a badge; Brezhnev also turns into a poster, and then gives badges to African children. In the screen space, the statue and the figure of a supposedly living person are one and the same thing, this is pure physicality, this is a full-lengthdoll; then the work of power is represented: the idol is imprinted on a poster, and then the remnants of its volume are divided into the seriality of small icons that is faultless in its mechanics. In the end, only the name will be a sign referring to this system like the name of Lenin at the entrance to his mausoleum, so little “Gagarins”will be born in Africa. But is there anything more dangerous hidden behind this mechanism of human copies?

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Alexander Markov

After graduating from St. Petersburg State University of Film & TV, I did my post-graduate research at Film University Conrad Wolf in Potsdam (Germany, 2005) and then spent several years directing and producing documentaries for television as well as other film projects. I am the founder and director at Ukulele Film Company and an Associate Professor at St. Petersburg State University of Film & TV.

NeyYorkAfricanFilmFestival, New York, USA, 2018

ArtDocFest, Riga, Latvia, 2018

Vision Du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland, 2018

IndieLisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 2019

DocPoint, Tallinn, Estonia, 2019

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