Jem Cohen – Buried in Light (1994)

“A meditation on history, memory, and change in Central and Eastern Europe, Buried in Light is a non-narrative journey, a cinematic collage. Cohen’s “search for images” began at a time of extraordinary flux, as the Berlin Wall was dismantled—opening borders yet ushering in a nascent wave of consumer capitalism. What he saw struck him as a profound paradox: the moment Eastern Europe was revealed was simultaneously the moment it was hidden by the blinding light of commercialism. Cohen’s images are neither the tourist’s roster of picturesque vistas and monuments, nor the mass media’s definitive catalog of dramatic moments. Instead, he focuses on details, ordinary objects, and forgotten places—filming daily life as seen on the street.”
—Linda Dubler, Art at the Edge (Atlanta: High Museum of Art)

“Cohen’s video was shot mostly on super-8 and has a characteristically grainy, dreamy look, integrating excerpts from foreign language phrase books in an attempt to express the widespread alienation produced by this transition. Cohen traveled far and wide, from Dresden to Prague, and ruminates not only on the fate of communism but the continuing impact of World War II (there is a poignant sequence shot in Auschwitz). Despite the comic relief provided by the phrase book, the video is extremely melancholy, painting the East in drab, dark colors and showing everything in terms of decay.”

643MB | 1h 1mn | 706×529 | avi


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One comment

  1. Thank you! Jem Cohen is my favorite filmmaker and his work is so hard to find. I have about 3/4 of his filmography now, but the holy grails for me are “Black Hole Radio” and “Long For the City”. If you obtain / post either of these, I will be forever grateful!

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