There Will Be No More Night
Il n’y aura plus de nuit draws on videos recorded by the American and French armies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan… How far can the desire to see go, when it has no limits?
These images are all too familiar to us – small luminescent silhouettes move in an anthracite world, part-phantom, part-firefly, under the threat of a target that has become their shadow and is set on reducing them to dust amidst crackling military voices – a French pilot in a helicopter named after a big cat, or an American in a machine bearing the name of an Indian tribe. The doctrine of “surgical strikes” has given birth to this eye that surveils and punishes in a single stroke, and now reduces war to the enactment of an insatiable scopic urge. If Eleonore Weber proposes here to re-examine these images (gleaned on the Internet, where some soldiers proudly share the work they accomplished), her primary aim is to remind us that, however operational they may be, they are nonetheless shots. And that through this deaf eye, which is literally visionary yet always short-sighted, we can read the history of war as well as the history of cinema. Besides, it would not be unreasonable to find in these deadly images the undue echo of some masterpieces that belong to this “intensive penetration of reality”, which Walter Benjamin established as the law of the photographic eye – one might think of the sublime night of Clemens Klopfenstein, or George Shiras’ nocturnal animals. Pierre V., the French soldier interviewed by Eleonore Weber, confesses his emotion at the star-saturated skies revealed by his thermal-vision binoculars. Having supervised the birth of cinema, the army has finally realised cinema’ dream by making the world visible beyond what there is to be seen. Night and man have lost the battle and it is again Benjamin’s words that corroborate Eleonore Weber’s film: the camera, he says “makes aware for the first time the optical unconscious, just as psychoanalysis discloses the instinctual unconscious.”
PRINT SOURCE: Perspective Films, email@example.com
Eléonore Weber is an author, and a theatre and film director. Her approach until now explores both the theatre and cinema languages. Regarding cinema, she directed a short and a medium length fiction film, Temps mort and Les Hommes sans gravité. She has also directed a documentary, Night Replay (Arte – La Lucarne), co-written with Patricia Allio. The film relies on re-enactments from a role-play invented by migrants.
- PRODUCTION : Gaëlle Jones (Perspective films)