In Focus: Renate Sami

Film Still © Renate Sami

This first UK survey of the films by Berlin based filmmaker Renate Sami presents a selection of her works made between 1975 and 2013 together with films by fellow filmmakers. The four programmes are complemented by a screening of From the Cloud to the Resistance by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub at the Institut Franҁais’s Ciné Lumière on Friday, 10 September.
 
Renate Sami (Berlin, 1935) is a filmmaker and translator whose work resists narrow categorisations. Her films are extremely diverse in form and content, oscillating between the poetic, the observational and the political. As Ute Aurand writes, “Since her first film in 1975, each and every one of her works has emerged from the same strong desire to make this particular film. Whether long or short films, shot on 16 mm, Mini DV or HD, without sound or without dialogue or music – what they all have in common is the special inner freedom with which Renate Sami gives every film its form.”
 
Sami was moved into becoming a filmmaker aged forty following the death of Holger Meins, the subject of her first film. Later subjects include the work of writers and painters, her films proposing an imaginary dialogue with those of fellow filmmakers such as Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, Harun Farocki and Ute Aurand, with whom Sami co-founded “FilmSamstag” (Film Saturday), a monthly film programme at Kino Filmkunsthaus Babylon Mitte that ran from 1997 to 2007. This In Focus programme is the first survey of her work in the UK.
 
In collaboration with Open City Documentary Festival. The festival takes place from 9 – 14 September at various venues in London and will be online from 13 – 23 September.
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With thanks to the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum for Film and Television