Minna Långström’s documentary film The Other Side of Mars (2019) was awarded at the 23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, held from October 24–29 in Czech Republic. Långström’s film won the main award of its competition selection “A Testimony on Knowledge”.
The jury stated: “The film shows that even scientific photos of the planet Mars which we might perceive as a pure representation of reality are actually reshaping the reality into something we understand and expect. The extreme example of scientific picturing of an object which we have no direct experince with makes the audience ask: How are the pictures from all the current problems on the Earth reshaped by our expectations and ability to understand.”
Every day, Vandana Verma travels across the face of Mars, taking pictures of its surface – all the while never leaving a NASA laboratory in Pasadena, California, from where she controls the Curiosity rover. This engrossing essayistic documentary joins her and other experts in space research in meditating over images of a planet located tens of millions of kilometers from Earth. Mars thus becomes the ideal place for studying our paradoxical relationship to photographs and for contemplating whether images from space (or also from various places on our planet) present us with reality or whether they actually create an alternate reality that we should approach far more cautiously.
Minna Långström is a media artist who works with short film and installation. Through visual experimentation, her works often deal with screen based visual culture in relation to the subjective human experience. Some of her participatory installations focusses on social perspectives on technologically mediated narratives, while her more recent short films and immersive installations deal with certain political histories – and their influences on the present.
The 23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, October 24–29 2019, Czech Republic
More information: Ji.hlava IDFF