Another Screen, the new, free “irregular streaming” platform from feminist film journal Another Gaze, specializes in underseen, difficult-to-access work by women filmmakers, curated by loose association with themes like food, hysteria, and currently the television work of Marguerite Duras. That program comprises six clips of the French author, screenwriter, and filmmaker interviewing subjects on the 1960s program Dim Dam Dom.
Duras is usually laconic in these interviews, her questions assuming an air of gravitas that subjects respond to at length. The dynamic gives Lola Pigalle, a famous exotic dancer, ample airtime to defend her profession as an art form. But with France’s only female prison warden, Duras breaks form to frequently interrupt her use of dehumanizing terminology. Coolly confrontational, she presses, “Is an inmate someone who has made a mistake? Or are they someone who has been deprived of their freedom?”
Another Screen’s other current program is For a Free Palestine: Films by Palestinian Women, which primarily features short films by contemporary artists, many of whom specialize in new media. For example, Razan AlSalah’s Your Father Was Born a 100 Years Old, and So Was the Nakba unfolds entirely over Google Street View. An ethereal voice, ostensibly Salah’s grandmother, narrates its exploration of Haifa, recalling the Nakba and frequently cursing the limits of the medium, which is her only means of visiting the place.
Mona Benyamin’s surreal, Eraserhead–esque Moonscape (2020) compares buying and selling plots of land on the moon, “far from the reach of colonialism,” to a mythic longing for a place to call home. The film is style like a music video, the story being sung, with Benyamin’s parents playing roles in it. Shuruq Harb’s semiautobiographical The White Elephant (2018) also uses music videos as a touchstone, mixing TV clips with news reports and home video recordings to demonstrate the coexistence of pop culture and conflict in formative media. These films and others portray history as a palpable force for young Palestinians.
Another Screen presents all of its streaming titles alongside original essays and supplementary contextualizing materials — academic texts, transcribed conversations, and even scanned pages from books. It’s a wonderful independent streaming effort. Marguerite Duras on Television and For a Free Palestine are both available for free through June 18.