Hito Steyerl's Top 10

    • set 14 items

    With her curated Top 10 program, which in fact consists of fourteen titles, the multi-hyphenate filmmaker, media artist, and writer Hito Steyerl offers a window into her kaleidoscopic world of film and media art. Key to apprehending her own seismic body of work, Steyerl’s selection presents a lineup of dissident filmmakers who, each in their own way, have radically shaped the art of political documentary cinema.

    Films in the selection

    Black Film

    • Želimir Žilnik
    • 1971

      What should filmmaker Želimir Žilnik do with the six homeless people he has temporarily housed in his own flat? He makes this worryingly topical problem the subject of this 1971 film.

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      Citizenfour

      • Laura Poitras
      • 2014

        A real-time documentary thriller about the large-scale illegal surveillance practices of the NSA, disclosed in 2013 by whistleblower Edward Snowden through filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.

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        La Commune (Paris, 1871)

        • Peter Watkins
        • 2000

          A compelling and purposely anachronistic documentary reconstruction of the events that led to the Paris Commune. TV interviews and reports track how a people’s revolution flared up, only to be extinguished with blood.

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          Handsworth Songs

          • John Akomfrah
          • 1986

            This hard-hitting, critical and poetic film essay places the UK race riots of the 1980s into a broader perspective, exploring the optimism and dashed hopes of Black immigrants.

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            Kenedi Goes Back Home

            • Želimir Žilnik
            • 2003

              When he is deported back to Serbia, Kenedi, a young Serbian Roma man, starts a taxi service from Belgrade airport. His passengers are people like himself, who also have to find a new home.

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              Letter to a Refusing Pilot

              • Akram Zaatari
              • 2013

                Archive footage, a Lebanese school class, and paper airplanes reminiscent of fighter jets. All this and more in a layered experimental work, inspired by an Israeli pilot who refused to bomb a school.

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                The Memory of Justice

                • Marcel Ophüls
                • 1975

                  In this monumental document, Marcel Ophüls examines the question of guilt relating to war crimes. Is morality universally applicable? And what is the relationshop between collective and individual guilt?

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                  Nitrate Kisses

                  • Barbara Hammer
                  • 1992

                    That which is kept, named, and shown is what matters. A dazzling historical essay by the pioneer of lesbian experimental cinema Barbara Hammer, about hidden visual histories and the importance of being seen.

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                    On Three Posters

                    • Rabih Mroué
                    • 2004

                      An analysis of three video takes in which Jamal Salti, a resistance fighter against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (1982 - 2000), rehearsed his video testimony, shortly before committing a suicide operation in 1985.

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                      The Pixelated Revolution

                      • Rabih Mroué
                      • 2012

                        Rabih Mroué reframes and recontextualizes a selection of found videos of clashes and confrontations, shot and posted on the internet by Syrian insurgents, highlighting the fragility of the human body and popular technology in the reality of war.

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                        Semiotics of the Kitchen

                        • Martha Rosler
                        • 1975

                          A woman at a kitchen counter, Martha Rosler guides us through the kitchen from A to Z, giving a whole new layer of meaning to frying pans, measuring spoons, and an ice pick. Feminist video art as a parody of cooking shows.

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                          Stories of Destroyed Cities

                          • Sêro Hindê
                          • 2016

                            Reality and fiction blend in stories of the destruction and reconstruction of three cities in the autonomous region of Rojava in Syria, recaptured by Kurdish fighters from IS. Will things ever be the way they were before?

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                            Videograms of a Revolution

                            • Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujică
                            • 1992

                              How does a revolution come into being? From a meticulous analysis of amateur videos and Romanian state television footage, a reconstruction of the events leading up to Ceausescu’s removal and execution is distilled.

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                              Yama: Attack to Attack

                              • Mitsuo Sato, Kyoichi Yamaoka
                              • 1985

                                Day laborers in Tokyo rise up against the Japanese mafia and local politicians in protest of their miserable working conditions. Just three copies exist of this activist film, which cost both directors their lives.

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