A screening of an award winning documentary film by Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska, Reader in Film and Theory at the University of Bedfordshire. The film is entitled Lovers in Time or How We didn't get arrested in Harare followed by a book launch of Piotrowska's new monograph Black and White: cinema, politics and the arts in Zimbabwe and Psychoanalysis and the Unrepresentable edited by Dr Piotrowska and Dr Ben Tyrer ( Essex), both published by Routledge.
The film is an example of practice research and could be seen as a trailer for the Black and White Book. Both the book and the film explore this combination of theory and practice by producing a film that engages with the theoretical models of psychoanalysis and voyeurism that she interrogates in her writing. Thomas Elsaesser has described Lovers in Time (2015) as ‘a timely political film…an unusually riveting example of the “essay film”: understood as a special kind of historical reflexivity, manifesting itself across several layers of subjectivity.’ In this way he suggests that her work engages with canonical filmmakers such as Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer whose cinema verite style moved documentary filmmaking into new realms and provided a platform for the generation of filmmakers in which Dr. Piotrowska is becoming a leading exponent. Elsaesser states that Dr. Piotrowska is ‘both a persona and a role, both an authority and someone struggling to stay in control: of an errant cast and of her inner turmoil, growing doubts and split feelings.’ This conflict of interest for the documentary filmmaker is exactly what Dr. Piotrowska analyses in her work, both in her writing and in the film.
After the film there will be a discussion about theory and practice led by Professor Thomas Elsaeser, Columbia, with the participation of Professor Diana Jeater, Goldsmiths College, Dr Winston Mano, Westminster University and Dr William Brown, Roemhampton University.