RIVER RITES – Interview with BEN RUSSELL: “I never thought about film as a tool for translation but rather as a way of conjuring, as a means for bringing the unseen out of the shadows and transforming time into a body that we all could understand.”

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Luciana Dumitru: Michel de Certeau writes about the experience of a French travel writer, Jean de Léry, in Tupi, using the term “remainder” for that which couldn’t be translated (into words). In Léry’s case, the overwhelming (subjective) aural and visual pleasures, from the language he couldn’t understand and strange sounds to the visceral experiences of being surrounded by naked bodies. De Certeau says “proximity is presence without possession.”  In your experience of living within the community of Saramaccan animists can you talk about “remainders” that you wanted to pin down? If so, how did film help you? More importantly, what are the “remainders” of this film – RIVER RITES (which is different from the lived experience)?

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