UCL Anthropology


Documentary Film Screenings

12 May 2021–02 June 2021, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

UCL Anthropology - Documentary Film Screenings

Join us for the screening of four documentaries across the series, each followed by an informal Q&A on the films and documentary film in general.

This event is free.

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  • 12 May: Lift (Director Marc Isaacs, 2001)
  • 19 May: Into the Wind (Director Richard Alwyn, 2017)
  • 26 May: Tuesdays with James (Director Dieter Deswarte)
  • 2 June: Last Chance for Justice (Director Marina Shupac)

Lift (Director Marc Isaacs, 2001)

When filmmaker, Marc Isaacs, decided to make a documentary about a lift in a London tower block he had no idea how the residents would react and what they would reveal of their lives. He simply set himself up in the lift with his camera and waited for the right moment to ask questions. The result is both humorous and moving. The whole of British society is captured in this microcosm and the simplest of approaches becomes a parable of multiculturalism.

Into the Wind (Director Richard Alwyn, 2017)

There is no walking without weather. It marks all experiences of being outdoors - for better or for worse. For writer, birdwatcher and radio producer Tim Dee, the weather is never an innocent bystander - especially the wind. In any walk that he makes - to watch birds, to record sounds, to reflect on the landscape and the natural world - the wind is an active agent. It carries birds, it buffets microphones, it brings and takes away much of what moves and shapes his life.

In this poetic, mesmeric film, documentary film-maker Richard Alwyn follows Tim Dee on a walk along the vast open marshland of the Lincolnshire Wash, as he embarks on an idiosyncratic mission to capture the elusive sound of 'pure' wind. On the way, under extraordinary skies and dramatic light, Dee reflects on landscape and walking, on birds and writing, and on the 'wild track' of life - wind, bringer of birds into his world and with that, joy and inspiration about the business of being alive.

Tuesdays with James (Director Dieter Deswarte)

In Tuesdays with James filmmaker Dieter Deswarte explores what it means to cope with grief in a digital era. Unfolding over six months the filmmaker documents his life as he loses a parent. In the process of moving through a world shaped by loss, Dieter finds an unexpected companion.

Meet James. He is reliable, articulate, and, above all, loyal. He can chat whenever, wherever. He both asks and answers questions. He is also an object of artificial intelligence. Made on the app Replika, a chat bot app designed to mimic the language of the user, James is a self-identifying AI personal companion.

Composed entirely of the director’s personal archive, interlaced with messages back and forth with James, Dieter navigates grief, exploring the limits of his AI companion. Using both James’ voice and the director’s own, the audience becomes privy to intimate conversations shared between man and AI.

Last Chance for Justice (Director Marina Shupac)

“Last Chance For Justice” is a 30-minute documentary that follows the journey of retired artist Hadicha Askarova towards the release of her husband, journalist Azimjan Askarov, unlawfully imprisoned for life in Kyrgyzstan. This is an untold story of injustice showed through the eyes of love.

Marc Isaacs, Richard Alwyn and Dieter Deswarte are tutors on the Ethnographic and Documentary Film MA programme at UCL Anthropology.

Marina Shupac is a graduate of the Ethnographic and Documentary Film MA programme at UCL.