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82 Ratings

Spell Reel

Directed by Filipa César
Germany, Portugal, 2017
Documentary, Avant-Garde


Filipa César turns her gaze to Guinea-Bissau, where at the beginning of the 1970s the advocates of a militant cinema captured the freedom struggle and the first years of independence.

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Spell Reel Directed by Filipa César
The result is a dialectical montage reminiscent of both Harun Farocki and Travis Wilkerson. Too experimental for most documentary showcases, but too expository for many avant-garde venues, Spell Reel finds its berth at Images among the other cinematic platypi.
April 23, 2018
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Gorgeously refractive and elegantly mercurial in its construction, Spell Reel is a confrontation of history and the present, a rich investigation of cinema’s part in historical liberation struggles and its capacity to reignite these sentiments in the present.
December 22, 2017
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The film complicates the uni-dimensional idea of propaganda cinema that we often dismiss outright; it stresses on the importance of the creation and preservation of a body of cinematic art that disseminates a sense of truth that helps a nation create its own histories. . . . Spell Reel lives with its silences and absences and helps create a history that is marked by its non-linearity and its empty spaces.
October 21, 2017
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