This American Land. Bound by arbitrary lines whose authority is daily reinforced by violence and bureaucracy. Sectioned into states, counties, and municipalities, based on voting patterns and property lines. Continually expanding its scope through bloody conquest, financial persuasion and cultural influence. What lies in the middle? Empty space, crumbling centenarian constructions and a mysterious, crawling vine that swallows up several feet a day… Inspired by the Occupy movement, which questioned the "publicness" of spaces we take for granted, Balagan presents four films.
“Scientists not only admit, but assert, that there are no locales in the Universe to be identified as UP and DOWN. None of the perpendiculars to our spherical Earth's surface are parallel to one another; they lead in an infinity of directions.
No matter how you may look upon the matter morally or ideologically, the assumption that humanity could or could not own a piece of land, with all the earth vertically below it and all the air vertically above it, is not only scientifically invalid – it is scientifically impossible. The scheme is geometrically possibly only in an up-and-down, make-believe flat world.”
-R. Buckminster Fuller
Triumph of the Wild / Martha Colburn
2008, 10 mins, 35mm "Triumph of the Wild spans decades of battles in American history and places a man in a landscape infested with indigenous predatory animals." - MC
Future So Bright / Matt McCormick
2010, 23 mins, HDCam "[T]he film explores ghost towns, abandoned military bases, and boarded up tourist traps to present a meditative time capsule of the false starts and failed attempts of the past 200 years of American Western Expansion." - MM
Kudzu Vine / Josh Gibson
2011, 20 mins, 35mm CinemaScope Beautiful, eerie portrait of an invasive species from Korea that is taking over the Southern landscape several feet a day.
You Are on Indian Land / Mort Ransen and Mike Mitchell
1969, 34 mins, 16mm Legendary vérité document of a 1969 protest by members of the Mohawk tribe against a levy imposed on them by the U.S.-Canada border authority.
Article in the Weekly Dig: Phantasma: Whose Land? (Feb 6, 2012)