COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, its impact reaching across the globe, affecting individuals in virtually every nation on the planet. While we don’t yet know the long-term effects of the pandemic, what we do know – and what these films attest to – is that in order to attend to the sick and reduce the spread of the virus, communities and individuals have adapted to the exigencies of the situation in previously unimaginable ways.
This curated collection of short, stylistically diverse micro-ethnographies provides a window into the personal experiences of DER filmmakers from around the world during these extraordinary times.
Click a point on the map to view the corresponding film:
ON THE BEACH 2020
Cannon Beach, OR USA
A reflection on time, the inexorable effect of natural process, the ocean relentlessly shaping the rocks, and the alienation of the individual in this time of flux and uncertainty.
SHELTER IN PLAY
San Francisco, CA USA
Modifying play in the pandemic era.
Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
We have got used to you.
Thank you for protection.
Sebastopol, CA USA
Maintaining the body in lockdown is both a necessity and an obsession – an endless cycle of movement and DIY grooming. The shape and rhythms of our new realities are founded on the fear of others’ bodies as carriers. What do you do with the extra hours now that you can’t sleep because no one has touched you in weeks?
SAMARKAND, THE PANGOLIN
The name Samarkand, in the short form of a longer slow cinema piece, refers to my cine-portrait of the late Jacques Blamont (2020), in which the astrophysicist predicts the era of COVID-19 by alluding to ‘the meeting in Samarkand’, an age-old oriental tale of the inevitable meeting with death. Other than the shock of the betrayal and barefaced lying of our leaders worldwide – who, in the name of greed, through the wilful organization of chaos, forced us into effective house arrest on March 17 2020 and are now driving us back outside to face a said-to-be still present contagious virus – what affected me most is the loss of being carefree, a part of our lives lost forever.
VIDEO DIARY, MARCH – APRIL 2020
Aarhus, Denmark/Cairo, Egypt
While going corona-crazy in late March 2020, I began searching for different kinds of coronae in my surroundings, eventually finding myself staring at the strange light surrounding the full moon. Meanwhile Muhammad sent me videos from Cairo and I remembered our conversations about the contagiousness of love.
THE SEA STAR
Honolulu, HI USA
To escape the stagnancy of life in the time of COVID, Olivia holds the hand of the wind and sails around the same island, over and over and over again.