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The Machine that Kills Bad People:
Selbé et tant d’autres (Selbe: One Among Many) + Reassemblage
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Reassemblage, dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982, 16mm transferred to file, colour, sound 40 min., English

Safi Faye’s documentary follows Selbé, a Senegalese woman, depicting daily life in her village as she works to provide for her family while her husband seeks employment in another town. Selbé draws attention to the economic, social and emotional responsibilities of women in rural Senegal.
Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film Reassemblage is an experimental critique of claims to ‘objectivity’ in ethnographic film and a complex study of women's lives in rural Senegal. It reimagines the documentary form through disjunction and disorientation, breaking with the formal conventions of the ethnographic tradition. As Trinh describes her approach, ‘I do not intend to speak about; just speak nearby’.
A specially commissioned essay by Xiaolu Guo accompanies this screening.
The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

Selbé et tant d’autres, 1982, dir. Safi Faye, 32 min., Wolof and French with English subtitles
Reassemblage, dir. Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1982, 16mm transferred to file, colour, sound, 40 min., English
£13 Full, £11 Concessions, £6.50 Green/Blue Members

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Essay by Xiaolu Guo