Prelude #2: Vers la Mer

Vers la mer (Annik Leroy, Belgium, 1999, 87 mins)

Friday 2nd March 2018, 6pm-9pm, Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, WC1.

In collaboration with Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture

Starting in Germany before crossing into Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, Vers la mer (To the Sea) is a documentary-voyage filmed in black-and-white by Annik Leroy, as she traces the River Danube from its source to the estuary of the Black Sea. As the landscape changes together with national frontiers and political borders, the film offers a cinematic encounter with twentieth-century history and the everyday realities of the region and its people. In the way in which Vers la mer projects a historical understanding onto the long takes and calmly-paced sensory drift of the footage, this meditative film offers a thinking piece on place and living through history, a sense of time and memory, and the legacy of history on the experience of being in the world.

This film was shown on a 16mm print courtesy of Cobra Films. Annik Leroy introduced the film, followed by discussion and response from Dr. Uilleam Blacker and Dr. Eszter Tarsoly, both from UCL School of Slavic and Eastern European Studies, chaired by Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine