On Memory or How Can I Doublethink?
Director: Ken Kobland
USA; 1996, 19’47’’; color; English; Turkish subtitles
A self-described “collage piece” of “stolen images,” Shanghaied Text starts with quiet Montana landscapes, among which are views of a powerful dam. When the dam breaks loose you find yourself “shanghaied” to places unknown, where Kobland confronts you with a provocative mix of historical, lyrical, sexual and political references. Using quotes and pieces from movies by Vertov, Dovjenko, and Buñuel, along with archival images of social protests from the liberation of Paris, the piece builds to an operatic culmination with Turandot’s final choir. Shanghaied Text is a remarkable, dense and gripping work that leaves the viewer pondering our political and cultural heritage, as well as the role and place of technology in our future.