Kali Film

Birgit Hein in Person Cologne-based filmmaker Birgit Hein made films with Wilhelm Hein from 1967 until recently; she teaches at the art academy in Braunschweig (where her students include Matthias Mueller, our guest September 18). "... Birgit and Wilhelm Hein's extraordinary and terrifying Kali Film (is) a 75-minute found-footage collage named for the Hindu goddess of maternal tenderness and cosmic destruction... (T)here's nothing particularly delicate about Kali Film, most of which is refilmed video of the most tawdry exploitation fare (porn, splatter, female prison movies, gruesome Third World actioners-the movies that the Germans engagingly classify Trivial-filme). As artists, the Heins are purposefully artless; more than any other filmmakers, they understand the power of bad photography. Watching this movie, one instantly senses when some taboo is being broken, but the grainy, shadowy picture quality insures that there will be a delay in figuring out exactly what the taboo is: You experience the image before decoding it."--J. Hoberman, Village Voice In an interview in Independent Eye, Birgit Hein commented, "What's interesting in these trash films--the horror and prison film--(is that) they're not reality. These films are dealing with dreams and somehow they are true in a psychic way. If women can act like this in a film, it means society also believes they can do that...If you don't control them, they kill you...This film is dealing with deeper images that have always existed, in archetypal forms. Now, in the present time as women become more threatening, more films show threatening women, you can see it just from statistics. The Kali Film is also like a kind of statistic, about this fright coming, but it's also ancient."

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