SynopsisPalestinian artist and filmmaker Basma al-Sharif makes experimental films and installations about cyclical political events and conflicts. Her latest film Capital sees her taking a slightly different direction.
This combination of fiction and futuristic design draws exuberantly on the Telefoni Bianchi (“white telephone”) films of the 1930s and 40s. The Italian genre took its name from what was a status symbol at the time. These glamorous and escapist films promoting conservative values were often set in prosperous (and sometimes non-existent) foreign countries—far away from the poverty-ridden Italy of that period. The genre later came to be seen as a precursor to fascist propaganda films.
The allusions in this offbeat satirical short are not limited to fascism, however. The filmmaker also makes particular reference to the frenzied development of the luxury residential complexes shaping wealthy enclaves in poor countries such as Egypt. Alsharif considers it unsafe to deliver her criticism directly, and chooses instead to communicate through a ventriloquist, songs and fictional advertisements.