“There is a symbol at the beginning, middle and end of Good Luck. It is a simple geometric circle with a horizontal line evenly separating top from bottom. Does it represent above ground and below; Northern and Southern Hemispheres; Ying and Yang; daylight and darkness? It could be any one of these or all of them at once. Shot in 2016, this visually stunning, obliquely political, and rather extensive ode to the hardest of graft is built to offer the viewer the otherworldly experience of first going down the shaft of a state-run copper mine in Serbia and, in the second half, that of illegally digging for gold under the Surinamese sun. It is the latest work of documentary filmmaker Ben Russell and — as with much of the Massachusetts native’s work — is a meditative beast at the best of times. Russell shoots entirely with 16mm film stock, which must have been a nightmare to carry on those endless handheld takes — I counted no more than four cuts in the opening thirty minutes — but the resulting imagery is no less beautiful for it. Indeed, Russell works wonders, allowing us to feel like we’re really there: going down that endless lift; joining a procession down a tunnel or to the nearest well; or knee deep in mud and sifting the water.” (Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage)
Around The World in 14 Films 2017, presented by Andres Veiel – in attendance of director Ben Russell
+++ Berlin Premiere / Matinee +++
|France, Germany 2017
|CaSk Films, Kino Elektron, Arte
|DCP / colour
|Serbian, saramaccanische OV / English subtitles
|documenta 14, Locarno etc.