Film in a time of catastrophe: Ali Cherri’s The Digger

writing to inform

In 2014, Ali Cherri set off on a journey into Sharjah’s desert interior, his mind preoccupied by post-apocalyptic thoughts.

The Lebanese artist was scouting for locations for his latest project, a docu-essay that would form a companion piece to his Beirut-based film The Disquiet (2013).

The result was The Digger (2015), a 24-minute film that receives its Dubai debut tonight as part of Cinema Akil and Alserkal Avenue’s new summer film season, A Hard Day’s Night.

The Disquiet explored the effect of an earthquake, a catastrophe that Cherri deployed as a metaphor for the profound crisis facing his home and the wider Middle East, and in his 2014 search for locations the filmmaker was looking for landscapes that contained traces of civilisations that had long since disappeared.

“If catastrophe is already happening and is inevitable,” Cherri asks,“then how can we survive that catastrophe?”

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