Words and images in counterpoint
Lucia Rikaki’s film “The Commons: What We Hold in Common” is screening at noon today at the Halkida Greek Documentary Film Festival.
The film was commissioned for a writers’ symposium of the same name held on Paros in May 2006. The symposium, organized by the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa in collaboration with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, brought writers from around the world together to share their ideas and concerns in a revival of Plato’s Symposium.
For Rikaki, the challenge was to convey a week’s proceedings in the language of cinema. Her solution, she said, was to create a kind of visual essay in response to the essays the participants had already posted, in a counterpoint of words and images.
“Their words were so powerful, I knew I already had a solid basis,” she said, “but I didn’t want to do a talking heads movie.” Instead, Rikaki filmed individual participants in settings ranging from a fishing trip to the cemetery and the village school.
She still needed lots of images, “so I found myself digging through my archives for pictures to use.” That excavation turned up shots like the one above taken from a hotel room in Dubai in 2006, showing neighbors sleeping in their courtyards, which the director paired with a poem by Israeli writer Amir Or.
At the Papadimitriou Theater, 1 Siokou Street, Chalkida.