Dream Town

– February 9, 2014

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Dream Town
Adrian Briscoe, Norway/USA, 2013
77 min., Video
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Part documentary, part fiction, the film takes place in Barentsburg a Russian coal-mining town on a Norwegian Island located in the northernmost inhabited place in the world. Set in this isolated, as well as environmentally and economically devastated arctic space, the film documents the stark reality of the miners, scientists, and children that live there, and contrasts their often brutal existence with fictional interludes that they authored and created with the director.

While in Barentsburg, I offered a free film school to the community.

The subjects of the documentary participated in the school and through their fictional portrayals of the characters which the townspeople have elected to play, and the stories which they have decided to tell the audience is takes a step closer to the population of this desolate and devastated space- inviting them not only into their lives, but their imaginations as well.

Sasha for example—who is, in reality, a mentally disabled garbage collector in Barentsburg—served as second camera on the film, and also played the role of a doctor in one fictional narrative. Oleg—who, in fact, mans the weather tower in Barentsburg—plays the part of a mayor with amnesia. A middle-aged masseuse, Tatiana, and her coal miner husband, Sergei, play a couple who meet and fall in love. A geophysicist/dancer, Olga, plays a woman who studies the effects of polar magnetism on dreams. And two of town’s children elected to become hill roaming, blood-thirsty werewolves.

From nonfiction to fiction, the weave of both narratives gradually disintegrates entirely into a fiction, concluding with a series of resolutions centered on the themes of love, dreams and escapism. – Adrian Briscoe

Preceded by:

Scattered In The Wind Lori Felker, USA, 2013

6 min., 16mm on Video

Chicago, 2009 — A cemetery as a crime scene.  Hundreds of graves in a historic cemetery had been ripped up in order to resell the plots.  Human remains were displaced, disorganized, scattered throughout the grounds, moved to unmarked mass graves. Music/lyrics by Implodes (kranky). (LF)