Nobody (With a Movie Camera)

Documentary video, digital, 60 min, color, sound, 16:9. (C) 2011—2016
Film comprises steady and panoramic shots of central parts of Almaty city.

Idea, editing, sound: Ruthia Jenrbekova
Photography: Morris Getman
Commissioned by Krёlex zentre.
Stills from the film:

Teaser on vimeo

Paraphrasing Dziga Vertov’s famous “A Man with a Movie Camera”, this documentary attempts to capture a ghostly life—not that of the city, but of the one who observes it through the lens of her camera.  It suggests a reversal of the relations between the apparition and the one who sees it: the specter and the spectator switch places. In modern culture ghosts become increasingly attractive due to exotic aura of mystery that surrounds them. Ghosts are searched for, photographed, studied, even hunted. The so-called ghost cities are getting popular worldwide, becoming sites of tourist attraction and subjects for eerie documentaries. However, from the perspective of the ghost person there is nothing exotic in being disembodied and excluded from what the full-blooded humans consider their own and true reality. Perhaps what living people call haunting can be seen as ghost’s call for action? As Avery Gordon says in Haunting & Futurity:

“Haunting always registers the harm inflicted or the loss sustained by a social violence done in the past or being done in the present and is for this reason quite frightening. But haunting, unlike trauma by contrast, is distinctive for producing a something-to-be-done.”

Full length [SD]