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Special Screening: Potamkin

POTAMKIN, BY STEPHEN BROOMER

Sooner or later all delicate things
Are butterflies with severed wings…

Harry Alan Potamkin


Harry Alan Potamkin (1900-1933) was a film critic, writer, poet and radical American activist. Committed to the left, and with an incorruptible and lucid vision, the writings he left after his untimely death (because of complications due to starvation) give an account of the subversive integrity of his thought. Potamkin is the particular biopic that Stephen Broomer dedicates to him, and possibly the most faithful to his figure in terms of risk and intensity. His poetry, and fragments of the movies on which he wrote –belonging to an exciting period of formal discovery in film: the late twenties and early thirties– to which he applied an impressive photochemical and printing treatment, compose this film in which Broomer enters the heart of the images in his search for the spirit of Potamkin. Battleship Potemkin resonates with special force in this film, an overwhelming experience that will have its world premiere at (S8).

At the Odessa steps, trampling gives breath to the child. The bullet miraculously reforms the face. The Cossacks march backwards, retreating unseen into their nothing, the unfired rounds of their rifles restored to their menacing potential. Feet tread backward up the steps as the steps themselves collapse in splintering emulsion. The carriage is set upright.
Stephen Broomer

“One’s sight is inverse to one’s eyes;
The begger with empty sockets sees
The microscope lies;
But these
Who are truly blind are wise.”

Harry Alan Potamkin

Acknowledgments: Stephen Broomer

Duration: 66 min. CGAI – 2/06. 18h.

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