We weren’t sure how our spotlight on Modern Day Slavery at this year’s festival would be received. It is a difficult subject because slavery in this day and age is so unexpected, yet so prevalent, so inhumane yet also so essentially human. It is such a hard issue to handle that a lot of people just shut down.
Not at Mountainfilm. Screenings and panel discussions were sold out, and Free the Slaves won the $5,000 Mountainfilm Prize (to be renamed the Moving Mountains Prize).
Author Ben Skinner (A Crime So Monstrous) said he believes that Mountainfilm “managed to kick the abolitionist ball farther down the field than it’s been in a while. Thanks for stacking the
deck in favor of the slaves - something that rarely happens!”
Mountainfilm’s Emily Long caught up with Ben HERE.
We try to balance our programming at Mountainfilm with a mix of open-eyed realism and wonder-inducing escapism. Quite honestly,
there are a lot more films that are high-quality harbingers of a dark world than wondrous jaunts down the easy roads of life.
This is why I was so happy to come across Jeff Scher’s wonderful short films last winter, and pleased to find out that we are neighbors
and fathers of third-grade classmates in Brooklyn.
We played a collection of his films at Mountainfilm 2008 (Whiteout, Sid, The Jacobsens, and L’eau Life - the latter also played at this year’s Telluride Film Festival) and also exhibited his
Luckily, Jeff is prolific and has released two new films since Mountainfilm: Dog Days and While You Were Sleeping. —DH
||While You Were Sleeping
Chris Jordan's next work will be about modern day slavery, which he learned about at Mountainfilm this past year. His latest work has garnered some unwanted new attention in the form of hate mail. A warning: its images are sadly familiar but graphic and disturbing.
Constitution, 2008 - 8 x 25 feet in five panels
Depicts 83,000 Abu Ghraib prisoner photographs, equal to the number of people who have been arrested and held at US-run detention facilities with no trial or other due process of law during America’s war on terror. Full view.
Zoomed in closer.
Detail at actual print size.