Best Shorts, Documentary, Experimental

Poetic essay about the beginning of life from labor pains and birth and about its symbolic meaning.

Life is about a birth, consisting mainly of views of a young woman’s face in the throes of labour, her heaving body in its hospital room seen as a changing landscape. Two shifts take place: the child is born and the camera shows us this new life; then, in a final shot that re-orders the entire film in retrospect (like the final shot of Pelechian’s earlier portrait of peasant life, The Seasons), we see mother and child, faces side-by-side perhaps a year later, mirrors of one another save for the difference in age.

The filmmaker works with his images as if they were a musical score. Around a central theme, he orchestrates variations and modulations that create an impression of a flood of private images arriving from beyond the frame. Pelechian is making a name for himself as a montage filmmaker who tends to inscribe in his works the movement of the world and history. His films are odes, even symphonies that speak about humanity, nature and the cosmos.

Directed by Artavazd Peleshian / Armenia / 1993

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