A Night of Knowing Nothing
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- Bhumisuta Das
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Through disrupting linear time, Kapadia’s speculative, poetic rumination on memory, political reality and personal association transforms the viewing experience into something transcendent.
Through its slippery cinematic language and elusive point-of-view, Kapadia depicts a moment happening urgently in the film’s present-day strand––a wave of anti-government student protests and their resulting crackdown––and treats it like memory, which we know operates as anything but a direct mental recording device.
This combination of lively image and mournful narration imbues the camera’s fly-on-the-wall perspective with a sense of melancholy. As life unfolds with verve and passion, the spectral narrator, L, exists at a remove, as if she were both present amidst the frolic, and distant from it, her heartbreak leaving her unable to get involved.