Lacan Palestine

Director: Mike Hoolboom
2012 • 75 Minutes

Mike Hoolboom, long-time VFF favourite and master of collaged film works, continues to make the kind of film that is much easier and delightful to experience than describe. In Lacan Palestine, he has turned his eye to the state without a state, bringing together history, interviews and experiences into a stream-like feast for not only the eyes but also the mind.

Those familiar with Mike Hoolboom’s previous works will not be disappointed. Lacan Palestine’s particular political territory may feel like something of a new direction compared to his earlier works that were generally more personal in nature. However, he’s still running with all of his insightfulness fully engaged here. The largely wordless narrative moves easily from theme to theme, always knowing that images (both singularly and in massive visual floods) convey so much more to a viewer in their power than words alone.

And for those familiar with Palestinian issues, Lacan Palestine does bring something different to the table too. With the rise of near-east issues in the 20th century, following along not far behind the rise of film and video technologies, Palestine’s issues are perhaps some of the best documented, fictionalized and re-enacted of our time. It is strange then that so few works about Palestine layer in the massive amounts of history that are a part of any Palestinian story. Perhaps that is because it is so easy to get narrow-minded with so much to try to explain. However, Mike Hoolboom’s visions are nothing if not rooted in a greater sense of time, place and history and that is something he brings to this particular Palestinian vision in fine form.

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